POP’s is our Dad and also an acronym for “Pedal Over Parkinson’s.” In April 2011, we started riding our bicycles from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA. We dipped our back tires in the Atlantic to start and our front tires in the Pacific about six weeks later to end. Why this route? It’s the shortest route across the country at about 3,100 miles. And we figured asking for more than six weeks off work may be a tad much for our companies to approve. Why east to west? Surely it would be easier to ride west to east – the wind at our backs and downhill, right? The first reason is by ending in San Diego, our family and friends could meet us at the beach..and meet us they did! A second reason is by the time we got to Arizona we would be starving and Mom’s cooking would be an amazing way to nourish our bodies and our souls! Finally, Dad didn’t choose to get PD or decide how PD would impact his life. He, and others with PD, fight uphill battles every day. The only way he will get better is at the end when he meets his parents in heaven. The least we can do is endure a little in his honor as we ride uphill and into the wind.
We started with the Fox Foundation. As we talked with people and thought about our Dad, research isn’t the only need. PD patients, their families and caregivers need other resources. Resources to explain PD and the various treatment options. As a result, we identified three additional organizations – the Davis Phinney Foundation, the Muhammad Ali Foundation and TGEN. As of today, we have created our own 501c3 organization and are determined to help those impacted by PD live a full life!
Our goal is to raise $1,000,000. Lofty? Arrogant? A dream? All are quite possible. But, it is OUR goal and at some point in our lives we WILL meet our goal.
Our passion is to help everyone we meet understand a little more about PD – its impact on lives and current treatments. Remember the Saturday morning blurbs in the middle of your favorite cartoon where a famous person would say, “Knowledge is power.” Well, we believe that also and by educating the public about PD we can make someone’s life a little easier. We’re not experts on PD by any means. Our goal is to help connect those needing the knowledge with those who have the knowledge. Now, think back to the beginning when I asked the question, “Why?” How many times did you ask the same question as you read our story?
We have stopped asking “WHY?” and started asking “WHAT IF?” What if we do collect $1,000,000 – what’s next? What if OUR RIDE gains traction and is repeated in some way every year in every state? What if OUR RIDE goes… international? What if just one person, one family sleeps better at night knowing PD is not the end but just an unexpected left turn? What if you joined Our Ride, Our Cause, Our Passion, NOW?
Just think, What if. . . We do think “what if” almost every day and one of these days, we will say “WE DID IT!”
Thank you for taking this journey with us.