Women Riders

Inspirational Women: Dianne Traynor – Ride for Kids Founder

Written by  December 1, 2013

Among the 2013 AMA Hall of Fame Inductees was Dianne Traynor of Atlanta, Ga. In 1984, Dianne and her husband, Mike, founded Ride for Kids to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research. The success of Ride for Kids led the Traynors to start the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Dianne had worked as a teacher and accountant before dedicating her life to the PBTF. Her own struggle with breast cancer in the 1980’s made her an advocate for patients and their families. Under her guidance, the foundation’s family support program grew to include social work, educational resources, and college scholarships for survivors. Dianne also educated herself in the intricacies of complex scientific research to become an expert grant funder. Today the PBTF program includes the University of California, San Francisco, Duke University and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Dianne Traynor was instrumental in establishing the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the US as well as helping to organize the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, an advocacy group made up of other nonprofits, medical professionals and social workers. Along with her husband, Mike, she was devoted to helping children, sponsoring scholarships for survivors, research and family support programs. Said Dr. Darell Bigner, director of the PBTF Institute and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University and chair of the PBTF’s Scientific Advisory Board, “I know of no one who led a nobler life.”

Mike and Dianne were previously awarded the AMA’s Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award and Motorcycle Consumer News’ Culberson Memorial Award for their work with Ride for Kids. In 2011 Duke University established the Mike and Dianne Traynor Lecture to honor the couple’s research legacy.

Following Mike’s death in 2009, Dianne became the PBTF’s president and chairman of the board. She also served on the board of directors of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, and was a patient advocate for the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Tumor Specialized Program of Research Excellence.

Dianne passed away July 20, 2012 at the age of 67 after a long illness.