Lehigh Valley student delivers treats, Thanksgiving cheer to children's hospital

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Michael Healy, of Sellersville, began riding his bike in middle school and quickly developed a deep appreciation for it.

"I used to test myself and see how far I could ride before I had to turn around and head home. Eventually this game became a fantasy where I envisioned riding to farther destinations," said Healy, a freshman kinesiology major at Penn State Lehigh Valley. "By the time I had finished ninth grade, I had already biked to Reading, Philadelphia, the Poconos and New York City."

Healy decided to blend his love of riding with his passion to help a good cause. During his senior year of high school, he raised money for the American Diabetes Association because he himself is diabetic. He then rode to Washington, D.C., to deliver the more than $3,000 he raised.

He wanted to continue to use his passion for riding to benefit others, and this fall Healy saw an opportunity to share a little extra thanks around the holiday season.

"I decided to deliver candy and Thanksgiving cards that some students made on campus to patients of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital," he said. "I wanted the kids to know that here in the Lehigh Valley are people who care about them. I also wanted to share gifts from one Penn State campus to another."

While the ride from Penn State Lehigh Valley to Hershey was not the longest of his life, Healy said he felt like a soldier riding for a higher purpose. He biked six and a half hours into 25 mph wind gusts and never for a moment had any intention of turning around. According to Healy, the only thing he wished was different was that he could have visited with all of the kids once he got there, but he hopes this small gesture brings them happiness at this special time of year.

"Next I hope to ride to University Park in the spring to raise awareness and money for a good cause and be an example of Penn State Lehigh Valley's efforts to make a difference, no matter what time or distance stands between our goal," said Healy.

Media Contacts: 

Jessie G. Heimann

Work Phone: 
610-285-5011

Director of Strategic Communications

Penn State Lehigh Valley

Last Updated November 24, 2015