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JoyRide Darien Puts Pedal To The Metal To Help Paralyzed Firefighter

Dave Lopiano with his family. JoyRide Darien will have a fundraiser Friday, Feb. 24 to raise money for the Darien firefighter and town official who was injured in a skiing accident last year.
Dave Lopiano with his family. JoyRide Darien will have a fundraiser Friday, Feb. 24 to raise money for the Darien firefighter and town official who was injured in a skiing accident last year. Photo Credit: GoFundMe page

DARIEN, Conn. -- JoyRide Darien is inviting indoor cyclists to a fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 24, to help Darien firefighter Dave Lopiano, who suffered major spinal trauma in a skiing accident last year.

Lopiano, 46, who is also an elected member of the Darien Board of Finance, was injured March 11, 2016, in an accident at Sugarbush in Warren, Vt., said JoyRide co-founder Rhodie Lorenz.

"He continues to put 200 percent into recovery to try and regain access to his paralyzed lower body. The Darien community and especially the Darien Fire Department has been extremely supportive in his recovery," said Shane Smith, vice president of the Darien Fire Department.

The fundraiser will pay for wheelchair access modifications at his home and out-of-pocket medical expenses related to his spinal cord injury.

Since the accident, Lopiano has had multiple surgeries, including having his vertebra fused in Vermont, but the initial fusion came loose, Lorenz said. He had a second surgery three months ago to resolve it.

"We believe we can accomplish more together as a team than as individuals, so we are honored to host a fundraising ride for Dave, a key member of the Darien community," Lorenz said.

Since founding JoyRide, the culture has been about "more than fitness. It's a culture of paying it forward and supporting one another when we need it the most," she said.

JoyRide Darien is located in the Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Highway N., Darien.

The fundraiser led by instructor Dina Fay of Darien will accommodate all fitness levels. It begins at 6 p.m.  The suggested minimum donation is $40, payable at the door by cash or check. Sign up online here.

Refreshments will be served afterward at Darien Fire Department, 88 Boston Post Road.

To make a donation or to learn more about Dave Lopiano, click here.

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