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Dr. Deborah T. Curtis, ’84, former Niagara University professor in the College of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management, is biking across America solo and for a meaningful cause: to help prevent suicides and empower individuals with mental illness to live longer, fuller, and healthier lives.

After losing her son, Brock Wesley Curtis, ’18, to mental illness in 2021, Dr. Curtis founded her family foundation, 4TeamBrock. The ride, which kicks off the organization, is intended “to raise awareness about the need to destigmatize mental illness and to generate funds to support programming specifically designed to assist individuals between the ages of 17 and 26, a transitional phase when mental health support is crucial,” she said. “We can no longer help Brock, but with Brock, we can help others.”

Dr. Curtis will start her ride on March 10 in San Diego, Calif., and will bike more than 3,400 miles over the following seven weeks to reach her final destination, New York City. She plans to make stops in various locations along the way, including Phoenix, Albuquerque, Saint Louis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Buffalo.

“As someone who will turn 62 years old during the ride, it will certainly be a challenge, but worth every effort,” she said.

To learn more about4TeamBrock and Dr. Curtis’ ride, visit https://4teambrock.com/. All funds raised will go directly to mental health organizations and programming designed to help individuals manage their illness through recognizing and working through triggers. If you can help her secure accommodation along her route, email her at 4teambrock@gmail.com.