This week, I did something slightly crazy, but it’s for a really good cause! I signed up for A Ride to Remember 2015. In this three-day event, cyclists ride from Simpsonville, SC to Charleston, SC raising money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Yes, those dates are right. Not only will I be riding 252 miles across the state, I’ll be doing it in the middle of July!
On the first day, hundreds of cyclists, including my teammates on the Massage Envy team, will ride 67 miles from Simpsonville to Newberry. The second day will take us from Newberry to Orangeburg, 85 miles. The final day is the longest: 100 miles from Orangeburg to Charleston. Luckily, there are rest stops with snacks and water every 10-12 miles, and there is a lot of support (both mechanical in the case of flat tires and medical in the case of dehydration, road rash, or other problem).
The ride aims to raise over $200,000 to support the Alzheimer’s Association. Here’s what they say about how they’ll use the money responsibly:
Why I’m Riding
I’m doing this ride in memory of my Granddaddy. While I don’t think he ever received an official Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he did suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. When people think of Alzheimer’s, they often think of memory loss and forgetfulness. These are certainly present, but Alzheimer’s is much more than that.
For me, the symptoms that were most difficult to witness were the personality changes. My Granddaddy was the sweetest man, always thinking about others and loving to laugh. Towards the end of his life, this changed. He became fixated on things – like needing to buy a house, getting his car fixed, finding certain financial documents, making sure doors were locked. And he got angry easily. Visits to the emergency room (because of falls) were stressful for him (and for us) because he didn’t understand why he was there, why he wasn’t being treated immediately, why his sheets were wrinkled, why he couldn’t have a scotch. And the man who had always been so sweet-natured would say horrible things.
The Alzheimer’s Association works tirelessly to support those affected by Alzheimer’s, and I hope that by supporting them, the research projects they fund will help bring an end to this terrible disease.
How You Can Help
I’m trying to raise over $500 to support the Alzheimer’s Association, so monetary donations would be greatly appreciated. You can donate on my personal fundraising page. All donations are tax deductible and go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you can’t donate money, you can still help by spreading the word to your friends, family, and coworkers. Feel free to leave me and the Massage Envy team a supportive message!