I'm riding -- for the fourth time -- to honor Eileen Ramm of blessed memory, my mother-in-law, and the people who cared for her in the nine years from her Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis to her death. To care for somebody living with Alzheimer's calls for hope beyond hope. That's not an easy attitude to maintain. The progress of Eileen's disease couldn't be reversed, no matter how hard her caregivers strived. They knew that. Still, they didn't stop striving. Her last years were peaceful.
I also ride to honor my friend Pete D. Alzheimer's claimed Pete's mortal life early this spring. I know he's, in spirit, with me and other people training for and riding in this event.
I also ride to honor my friend Bob M, who now lives with the disease, and the people who care for him. His attitude is inspiring. He's cheerful and comfortable in his skin. His willingness to talk about his journey and his symptoms are inspiring. He's an example of living with hope in the midst of this nasty disease.
The Ride is a chance for people touched by Alzheimer's Disease to get together and do something -- something hard -- that actually makes a difference. Some of us ride. Others help organize the event (I understand Bob M. will be among them). And all of us can sponsor a rider for a few dollars.
Researchers and caregivers can use our money well. Just as importantly, this event lets them know there's plenty of support for them. This ride lets us all rejoice in hope.
I'm going for the Century (that's road-biker jargon for the 100-miles route). Please sponsor me for whatever you can!