RIDING FOR A HERO
"I rode for my son, Billy, who is twelve years old. In November 1999, he had emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. Since then, he has endured radiation and chemotherapy. He has continued to go to school. Billy is a hero to many people.
This year, his school, the Albany Academies, honored him with the Simmons Award which exemplifies the outstanding qualities of an A student. Billy is an inspiration to everyone whose life he touches."
Ken Grey, Father & Founder
The Brain Tumor Society Newsletter, 2000
Billy Grey was diagnosed with a brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, in 1999 and so began his fight. Our family was quickly educated on the grim realities of the lack of medications, research and hope for those afflicted with this fatal illness.
Billy never once lost his passion and spirit for life. He was an exceptional athlete- whether it was hockey, baseball or any sport. Billy attended Albany Academy where he grew scholastically and was a friend to all. He was honored with the Simmons Award at the Academy upon completion of the sixth grade and was posthumously granted an honorary degree for completion of middle school. In honor of Billy, the school established a scholarship in his name for the seventh grade student who exemplifies the true character of an Academy middle school student.
Ken Grey began fundraising through cycling in 2000, participating in the Brain Tumor Society’s Ride for Research in the Boston area. With the assistance and direction of his associates at Marshall & Sterling, Ken established fundraising efforts, which have grown over the years.
In 2004, with the help of friends, Ken and Cherie Grey brought the event to Saratoga Springs and is now known as the Team Billy Ride and Walk for Research.
Through the National Brain Tumor Society, Billy's father, Ken, was able to raise funds for research at their annual bike ride in Massachusetts. Each year others joined Ken at dawn for the day long trip and bike ride. The idea to start a ride in New York became a reality in 2005 and through the generosity of the city of Saratoga Springs, the New York State Park, the Saratoga County Troopers, Marshall and Sterling and many friends, we have been able to offer three lengths of bike rides in Saratoga County. A three mile walk was added in 2006.
Although Billy died on July 13, 2001, just two weeks shy of his thirteenth birthday, his name carries on in the fight for funding.
Billy would have wanted his struggles to have meaning and make a difference for those diagnosed with a brain tumor. As a testament to his courage, on December 30, 2001, Billy's close friend, Devin, and Billy's father Ken had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch in Saratoga Springs in his memory.
Our mission is to foster public support of a vision of a world where brain tumors no longer exist as a deadly and debilitating illness. To fund promising medical research and applications in the specific brain tumor field and promote collaboration with all cancer communities. To empower all brain tumor patients, families, and constituency in their journey for positive and strengthened outcomes for a better life. To attain this vision by energizing the peers and community where Billy Grey lived, emulating his courage, spirit and love of life, no matter what the challenge and how high the bar is set.
Team Billy contributes to the Billy Grey Research Chair and raises funds for brain tumor research. The grants are awarded annually through the National Brain Tumor Society. Team BilIy has been successful in funding over $2.7M in grants since 2000.