HOUSTON Over the years Houston police have raised millions of dollars for kids suffering from blood disorders. They have done that by pedaling annually to places like Alaska and Maine.

This year they are going to Tacoma, Wash. in the annual Houston Police Bicycle Relay.

They will ride for patients like 7-year-old Ethan Hooks, who has no choice but to see doctors at Texas Children s Hospital every week for treatment.

His platelet counts just drop randomly, said his mother, Lisa. They don t really know why.

On Monday, officers surprised several sick children at the hospital and drove home a point.

That these kids are out here battling these illnesses and we re out there raising money to make their lives better, Lt. Randall Upton said.

The relay-style bike ride starts next week and will last eight days, as 33 cyclists take turns riding around the clock.

Participants include Officer Steve Duffy and his 14-year-old son, Richard.

As you ride out there and you re by yourself in the middle of the night, you reflect on everything and realize it s not about us, Officer Duffy said. It s about the patients.

More information on the annual ride can be found at

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