Before Alexandra Graham, daughter of Susie and Bill Graham of West Bloomfield, died of bone cancer in 1999 at age 17 following a valiant battle, Make-A-Wish Michigan granted her extraordinary wish to create a public service announcement. The PSA urged others to smile, not stare, at seriously ill kids who may look different because of their medical state.
Team Alex, the team of inspired cyclists formed to advance her wish and support wish-granting, marked 20 years July 27-29 cycling in Wish-A-Mile (WAM), Make-A-Wish Michigan’s top annual fundraiser.
Team Alex riders were among nearly 1,000 WAM participants in the 300-mile, three-day trek from Traverse City to southwest Michigan or the 50-mile, one-day route. Both courses finished amid joyous Wish Heroes and their families at Eaton Proving Grounds near Marshall.
Under stalwart captain Beth Brandvain of Farmington Hills, Team Alex grew from 14 to 125 difference-making riders. It has raised $4.5 million, enough for about 950 wishes.