Pursuing an active lifestyle is important for Scott Farish, a personal trainer at Orangetheory Fitness in Littleton, Colo., and his family. So when Scott was approached by a supervisor at work asking him to start a team for this year’s Courage Classic bicycle tour in Copper Mountain, he knew this was the perfect opportunity to combine his passion for fitness with the chance to honor his daughter, Maisie.
At 3 and a half years old, Maisie went in for a routine eye appointment. The optometrist discovered a dislocated lens in one of Maisie’s eyes and suggested she go to Children’s Hospital Colorado to get it further checked out.
Maisie and her parents met with Dr. Margarita Saenz, genetics and inherited metabolic diseases specialist at Children’s Colorado. Dr. Saenz ran a few tests and diagnosed Maisie with Marfan’s Syndrome.
Marfan’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cell organs and tissue together and plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. In extreme cases, this syndrome can be life-threatening, causing the heart to rupture.
Marfan’s Syndrome must be monitored carefully. For Maisie, she visits Children’s Colorado every year to make sure her body is developing properly. Because this syndrome is genetic, Scott and his wife had to be tested. However, neither of them have it so their twin girls did not have to be tested.
In December 2015, Maisie underwent surgery on her eye to get rid of the dislocated lens. Maisie had to spend two nights in the hospital after a few complications. During this time, Scott and his family had the opportunity to walk around the hospital.
“It gave me a bigger appreciation for what Children’s Colorado is doing for kids with her condition and kids with more extreme conditions,” said Scott. “It made me see what Children’s Colorado is doing to give kids healthier lives.”
Many kids with Marfan’s Syndrome have longer limbs, are tall for their age, and are advised to stay away from contact sports. At 8 years old, Maisie stands at five feet tall. However, she has not let this syndrome get in the way of her becoming an accomplished athlete. Maisie dances ballet and is a strong swimmer.
“We have chats with Maisie about her syndrome,” said Scott. “We like to focus on the things she’s really good at.”
Over the course of the last four years, Scott has heard people talk about the Courage Classic.
“I’ve been a cyclist, racing and competing in other charity events,” said Scott. “I’ve been wanting to ride in the Courage Classic for a while, and when the opportunity came up this year to be a captain of a team, I couldn’t turn it down.”
Scott will be joined by 17 team members cycling for Orangetheory Courage. Scott is ready to take on the mountain roads in honor of Maisie.