Spoelman devotes time, energy to helping others

Grand Haven graduate Katie Spoelman is transforming her precious few months of spring and summer leisure into dedicated humanitarian efforts. First, the Miami (Ohio) University junior is planning on joining the latter stages of the Ride for World Health - a San Diego to Washington D.C. bicycle tour that promotes education and awareness of global and domestic health care issues, as well as raising funds for health care organizations MedWish International and AHOPE for Children.
Nate Thompson
May 14, 2011


Spoelman, an Exercise Science major who recently wrapped up her spring semester at Miami, couldn’t begin the start of the tour in San Diego on April 4, but she will be joining a group of nearly 30 riders in Columbus, Ohio on May 23, and will bike toward the nation’s capital for a May 29 finish.

Along the way, the group will stop at numerous locations to create a dialogue and lead discussions on issues related to health care in the United States and abroad.

“From my understanding, we’ll be stopping and spending the night at camps, churches and community centers along the way,” the 2008 GHHS graduate said. “All of our gear will be stored on vans that will follow us, but I’ll keep energy bars and water with me.

“It’s going to be interesting, especially riding through the Appalachian Mountains. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m always up for a little adventure.”

Spoelman swam for two years at Miami, but the demands of college athletics and academics left little time for her other interests — including her desire to help others.

“I really just made a decision that I wanted to do other things,” she said.

Spoelman first learned about the Ride for World Health as a member of Miami’s triathlon team, which held an annual fundraising ride for the event. She filled out an application and was eventually enrolled onto the Tour’s 2011 team of riders.

Those who wish to donate to the Ride for World Health’s effort can visit www.rideforworldhealth.org, where Spoelman and the other riders’ bios are featured.

Spoelman will be involved in another extraordinary effort in late July, when she’ll fly to Uganda, Africa, for a three-week medical missionary trip. The focus  of the trip will be providing aide and medical support to those diagnosed with hydrocephalus and other medical conditions in the region. 


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