Nothing Less... Cure ALS.
Our awesome team: Jody, Jessica and Bill.
This was the weekend of the tenth annual ALS Doubleday Bike Ride - a two-day, 85-mile bike ride in Mount Vernon. We tripled our team size. Last year, "Kathy's Crew" was just Bill and this year, we had Jessica (whom we met at last year's ride) and my sister-in-law, Jody. This is such an important event. We ride in memory of my Mom as well as those currently facing ALS, like Anthony. Anthony left this comment on my Mom's site just this last week:
I really don't know where to begin, other than by saying thank you. You see, unlike the others who have responded I was diagnosed 7 years ago this week, with symptoms a year prior. I am 39 years old with a caring wife and beautiful 2 year old daughter. Not to make myself sound naive or in denial, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone on line to look up anything to do with ALS, and definitely first time looking up a blog, which is how I found the touching story of your mom, your family and friends. You see from day one I told my wife (we were just married 2 months), my family, and friends, that I didn't want this to consume them everyday because I wouldn't, we have to live our lives. Everybody has obstacles in life and this is mine. Well its not just mine, and I didn't realize that for a long time. I guess what I am trying to say is from this side, I know my support group is unbelievable, as you were and still are. Not that I ever doubted for one second my support group, but when you see in writing your experience I truly see that no matter what I say, or how I try to protect them, it will consume them no matter what. I don't know if what I am writing makes sense because I never write, but in life we should touch the lives of as many people as possible and you have touched mine and so many others, so thank you.
You truly are an inspiration, as is your Mom.
That - that right there is what this is all about. The Doubleday is a tough event. Whether the walk in the fall or this bike event, you don't get to see many of those battling ALS. And, if you do, you often don't get to see them at subsequent events as many progress quickly through this horrendous disease. It is extremely sad; I know my Mom would have LOVED being at even one of these events. She really enjoyed the one Walk she participated in.
We did get to see Sonja. Sonja was our advocate from the ALS Evergreen Chapter. She was at my Mom's doctor's appointments, got my Mom lended equipment, led the family support groups and was our lifeline for the multitude of questions. She is a literal Godsend and I was so happy to see her today. She rubbed my belly and said she had thought of me many times and wondered how we were doing. She was a trooper today on the ride - so proud of her!
Having fun getting ready the first day.
Coming into the first rest stop.
Jessica never stopped smiling!
Jody - big smiles too!
Bro and sis.
Marilyn's Army was the largest team - so big it split into two last year. Sadly, Marilyn lost her battle with ALS just last year.
300+ total riders this year.
Still smiling on the second day - only about 8+ miles to go.
Clear Lake rest stop.
Jess and Bill crossing the finish line - 35 minutes earlier than last year. Woohoo! Jody was just about 25 minutes behind them, but she did the extra ten mile loop on her own. Way to go, team!
Enjoying "Banditos Burritos" post-ride. Jessica and Jason.
Thanks to all of our supporters. We appreciate the contributions to this extremely important cause. Thanks to our small team and to our little cheering squad who made the drive up in support. Great weekend. Good job, everyone! Love you, Mom! I know you were right there with us!
Lastly, here's a video from our local news about the event.
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