Riding for a cure

Local resident and her family raise money for diabetes research

Contributed photo Paige Maas, 9, is all smiles after completing the 26-mile course in the recent Tour de Cure event in Hillsboro, Ore. Her team, Paige’s Pilots, raised more than $14,000 to help find a cure for diabetes.

Nine-year-old Paige Maas was all smiles after crossing the finish line of the Tour de Cure bike course in Hillsboro, Ore.

Not only did she ride her bike 26 miles, a personal record, but she and other team members raised money for the American Diabetes Association.

Paige, a Washougal resident, has type 1 diabetes, which requires that she check her blood sugar six times a day and carefully monitor her food and fluid intake.

For the first year, she used a syringe for blood sugar monitoring but now has an insulin pump.

She first participated in Tour de Cure as an 8-year-old with her team, Paige’s Pilots. Inspired, Paige set two personal goals after the event: Double the team fundraising from $5,000 to $10,000; and ride 10 miles instead of 5.

She not only met her goals, she shattered them by riding five times the distance of her first year, and having her team raise nearly three times the money.

Her dad, Brad Maas, participated in the 100 mile ride at Tour de Cure for the second year in a row.

“My favorite aspect of the event is that it was an incredible honor that so many friends and family participated on the team,” he said. Not only did we have many local riders, but friends from Bemidji, Maine; Aimes, Iowa; and even Doylestown, Penn., helped make the team’s fundraising a success...It was a pleasure to share the road with my fellow teammates.”

He added that his wife, Pamela, rode alongside Paige and encouraged her the entire way.

In addition, his youngest daughter, Jaime, 6, rode her Barbie bike for five miles with her grandparents.

As for Paige, she was happy to the finish the course and personally raise $1,300.

“My favorite aspect was finishing the 26 miles because I have never gone that far before,” she said. “It also felt good knowing that I was helping so many people.”