Like many kids his age, Michigan’s Todd Kingsbury lived and breathed BMX. In the early part of 1980, he even lead ABA points in the MI-01 District. But in 1981, it was discovered that the avid 12 year old had Leukemia. Unfortunately, this dreaded disease would keep Todd from fulfilling his dream of one day becoming a BMX Pro. When the ABA learned of his diagnosis, the first “Race for Life” event was held at Todd’s hometrack - Waterford Oaks BMX. Todd was made the honorary race director that day and infamously told a reporter, “This (event) might help keep other people from getting it (leukemia).”
The Race for Life became a tradition that still stands today - as ABA and USA BMX members have helped raise over $3.6 million since 1981 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ®. Todd passed away on September 13th of 1981 and was laid to rest in his BMX uniform. He is remembered in the hearts of all BMXers each year, as every BMX track in the U.S. and Canada hold a Race For Life in the hope that someday, there will be a cure for leukemia, and that children like Todd will have the opportunity to live full lives.