Celebrate Overcoming Presents the David Francisco Ride For Hope

Twelve-day bicycle journey along the California coast to promote awareness of spinal cord injuries, raise funds for medical expenses, and embrace victories over life challenges

Logo of Ride For Hope
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David Francisco

LOS ANGELES, CA – October 17, 2017 – On June 23, 2018, a dedicated group of music industry professionals will embark on a twelve-day, 500-mile bicycle ride along the California coast to raise awareness and funding for spinal cord injury sufferers, and to celebrate overcoming life challenges. 

The event, produced by nonprofit organization Celebrate Overcoming, is inspired by the physical and spiritual journey of spinal cord injury survivor David Francisco. In April 2016, David’s life changed forever, in a split second. While the 24-year-old musician was riding his bike home from his recording classes at Nashville’s Blackbird Academy, a distracted driver ran a red light and crashed into him at 40 miles per hour. The impact was catastrophic: He shattered his spine in three places and was told he’d likely never walk again. After a year of intense physical rehabilitation, David has defied the odds and learned to walk, and this past June graduated Blackbird Academy. His next goal: Learning to ride a bike again, which he is accomplishing on a tandem cycle with his fiancée, Kristi, at the helm.

David Francisco

David’s indomitable spirit throughout his path to recovery gave rise to the David Francisco Ride for Hope. “Witnessing David’s courage and determination through his recovery from a catastrophic injury moved me to put this event together,” says ride executive director Kevin Becka. “The 500-mile trek is an effort to bring awareness and drive funds to those with spinal cord injuries and to help others to overcome and move beyond life-altering events.” “I am inspired every day by David and his positive attitude and hard work in the face of the unknown,” adds Francisco’s father, John Platillero. “I am most excited about this ride because it represents how much he has overcome already!”

David and Kristi, riding their Blue Steel tandem bike, will accompany a team of cyclists including recording engineer, educator, and journalist Kevin Becka; recording engineer Dave Rideau; recording and live sound engineer Erik Zobler; broadcast mixer Jeri Palumbo; and a small support crew.

David Francisco and his fiancée Kristi, pictured with their Blue Steel tandem bike.

The route begins in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and finishes in Santa Monica, with nightly stops along the way featuring concerts, celebrity appearances, auctions, and giveaways. Fans and supporters will be able to follow riders and events through daily blog dispatches and live streaming events.

A portion of event proceeds will benefit MusiCares®, which was established in 1989 by The Recording Academy® to provide a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. Sponsorship opportunities are now available: Contact ride executive director Kevin Becka at DFRideForHope@gmail.com.


Celebrate Overcoming is a 501(C)(3) organization founded with the mission to encourage and inspire people who are confronting illness and other life challenges by producing events that tell stories of Overcomers. By sharing examples of people who have faced similar challenges, our goal is to help others reach their full potential, despite ongoing challenges, and live a full life.

A friend and ally of the music community, MusiCares was established by the Recording Academy to safeguard the health and well-being of all music people. A four-star charity and safety net in times of need, MusiCares offers confidential preventative, recovery, and emergency programs to address financial, medical, and personal health issues. Through the generosity of our donors and volunteer professionals, our dedicated team works across the country to ensure the music community has the resources and support it needs. For more information, visit www.musicares.org, “like” MusiCares on Facebook, and follow @MusiCares on Twitter and Instagram.

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