|By Chris Maza
Dr. Siva Padmanabhan
Reminder Publications submitted photo
EAST LONGMEADOW - Dr. Siva Padmanabhan is about to embark on an excursion two years in the making for a cause that’s close to all of our hearts – the lungs.
Padmanabhan, an East Longmeadow resident and pulmonologist at Wing Memorial Hospital, will take part in the Autumn Escape Bike Trek, a 105-mile bike ride across Cape Cod in an effort to raise money for the American Lung Association, which fights lung disease promotes lung health.
“This is a unique ride,” he said. “A lot of teams are there supporting the cause, but I am riding solo.”
The ride begins on Sept. 27 with a trek from Plymouth to Sandwich, followed by a ride on day two from Sandwich to Brewster. Those courageous enough can continue on for a third day from Brewster to Provincetown. Padmanabhan said he has done rides of between 25 and 60 miles before and thinks he is more than ready for the challenge of the two-day, 105-mile trip.
Padmanabhan said he has been an avid bicyclist for the physical benefits and was very happy to find the opportunity to help the American Lung Association.
“The American Lung Association is a very important organization,” he said. “They fight for smoking cessation and the importance of treatment for lung diseases like COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], smoking related lung problems, asthma and much more.”
Padmanabhan said some of the best work the American Lung Association does is with young members of the community.
“They are a great philanthropic organization. They do a lot of educational events to inform the public, especially the kids in the schools, the importance of asthma education, how to avoid getting in the habit of smoking,” he said. “They even go into the schools to help educate the children about lung health.”
This isn’t the first time Padmanabhan has stepped up to support the American Lung Association and it most likely won’t be the last, he said. Two years ago, he took part in the stair climb to the top of Tower Square in Springfield. Prior to moving to the area two years ago, he helped start an annual Lung Walk in Corpus Christi, Texas, a 5k walk to raise money and awareness, in 2010.
In addition to participating in lung health-related events, Padmanabhan has also been involved in other public safety initiatives, including the Ride of Silence, a nationwide initiative to promote bike safety and honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding on the road.
While the fundraising requirement for the ride is $500, Padmanabhan has set a personal goal of $5,000.
Those interested in donating may visit his personal page on the American Lung Association’s website at http://action.lung.org/site/TR/Bike/ALANE_Northeast?px=4626171&pg=personal&fr_id=6980. Donations can also be mailed to Padmanabhan at 38 Ericka Circle, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Checks should be made payable to American Lung Association of the Northeast.
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