Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, which causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour. Alzheimer’s not only impacts those suffering, but also their loved ones, who live in the shadows of the disease.
I recently had the privilege of taking part in this year’s Pedal for Alzheimer’s charity event, cycling 1,098 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee to Daytona, Florida over the course of 12 days. Pedal for Alzheimer’s works tirelessly to raise awareness and money for research dedicated to helping those affected by the disease, and for the past two years PointClickCare has sponsored this event. This year, I wanted to take my support to the next level by not just supporting the event financially, but by actually taking part in the ride personally.
We kicked off the ride in Knoxville on September 29, and rode through the Great Smoky Mountains, North and South Carolina, and down the Georgia and Florida coasts, concluding on October 10 in Daytona.
Going into this, I knew that this ride would be no small feat, and it turned out to be the most physically and mentally challenging experience of my life. We cycled around 100 gruelling miles each day, and while our bodies grew more tired, I was constantly reminded that what I was feeling doesn’t come close to the daily challenges faced by those with Alzheimer’s disease. Our ride only lasted 12 days, but Alzheimer’s lasts a lifetime. We were lucky to be supported by a strong group of riders and an amazing support crew who helped keep us on track, even when the days got tough.
While on the road we encountered countless individuals that took the time to connect with us and share their personal story. It was clear that this disease did not discriminate and was affecting so many of us. We also had a day in an Alzhiemer’s community and were able to see the funds we raised put to use. In this case, the organization planned to use the donation to provide a personalized experience to each and every Alzheimer’s resident. They were in tears and so were we as we all envisioned the impact these dollars would have on these wonderful people – employees, residents, and families. You can check out our day at Anthem Lakes here.
The photos hid some of the raw emotion and challenges we endured along the journey but the interactions we had really helped keep us focused and inspired to continue when things got tough in the saddle.
The Pedal for Alzheimer’s ride was an emotional journey for everyone who has witnessed the impact of this devastating disease, but I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in this event. I’m even more proud of the amazing support I received that helped me raise $24,700, which I personally matched, contributing to the $88,000 raised by the entire Pedal for Alzheimer’s team. I could not be more proud of our accomplishments and can only hope that this small act will help improve the lives of those suffering and their families.
Check out some of the photos from the event below. Or, head over to Facebook and LinkedIn to see our amazing journey through photo and video that the Pedal for Alzheimer’s and PointClickCare teams were able to capture.
About Pedal for Alzheimer’s
Pedal for Alzheimer’s is a non-profit charitable platform committed to organizing cycling events to raise money, provide education and increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. The Pedal for Alzheimer’s organization was co-founded in 2017 by John Crisp and Michelle Brook-Marciniak. Crisp is the founder of Pedal for Pat, a 1,098-mile cycling event created to honor the legacy of the legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who died of Alzheimer’s in 2016. To learn more about how you can support this organization, visit pedalforalzheimers.org/how-to-help/.