Dubuque "Ride for the Kids" fundraiser hits close to home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque "Ride for the Kids" fundraiser hits close to home

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Sarah Reiss was only 22 years old when she died of a cancerous brain tumor nearly two years ago. Three-year-old Matthew Wessels is still getting treatment for his heart defect. Sarah Reiss was only 22 years old when she died of a cancerous brain tumor nearly two years ago. Three-year-old Matthew Wessels is still getting treatment for his heart defect.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Two Dubuque-area families are continuing a personal mission to find the cure for children's brain tumors and heart defects.

Saturday morning is the fourth annual Ride for the Kids, a 96-mile poker run and auction to raise money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

One family, Brian and Amanda Wessels, have a three-year-old son, Matthew, who was born with a heart defect.

The Reiss family, on the other hand, lost their daughter Sarah Reiss nearly two years ago to a brain tumor. She was 22 years old.

Reiss's father Mark Reiss said the money raised through Ride for the Kids goes strictly to research, to advance the search for a cure for these two afflictions. In its three years so far, Ride for the Kids has donated $180,000 for research to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

"That's the whole intent: that other families won't have to experience what we did with losing our daughter," Reiss said, "and other families won't have to go through what little Matthew's going through."

The families' fundraising goal this year is $120,000.

The ride/drive starts Saturday morning at Happy's Place in Dubuque, at 2323 Rockdale Road.

Registration, which costs $20, begins at 10 a.m. The ride starts at 11:30 a.m.

There's an auction and live music at Happy's Place after the trip.

For more information, check out the event's flyer and Website.

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