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Jackie Saunders' Fundraiser:

The Gearly Beloved's Ride for Lupus

Jackie's Photo

Jackie Saunders via Crowdrise
May 22, 2013

We finished the ride for 105 miles! We'll have a complete update on our blog next week. Thank you for all the support.  See more

BENEFITING: Michigan Lupus Foundation

EVENT DATE: May 18, 2013

Jackie Saunders


To my friends,

I have a couple of awesome roommates who brainstormed the idea of going on a biking adventure in effort to raise awareness about Lupus. So, that is exactly what we are doing. On May 18th, we will bike roughly 100 miles from the Sparty Statue at MSU to the Michigan Lupus Foundation in St. Clair Shores.  Any money we raise will be donated to the Michigan Lupus Foundation.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body essentially attacks itself. Although it is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, the cause is not known. It encompasses a broad spectrum of symptoms, affecting a number of different organs. Many symptoms mimic a variety of infectious diseases and cancers which make it difficult to diagnose. Everyone’s experience with Lupus is different. It really is a “custom made” disease because each person has different symptoms and responds differently to medications.

After spending 2 years in and out of hospitals, I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2010.  I had fevers of 100 to 105 degrees every day for a year and a half. I developed a rash that blistered and scarred all over my body, lost 20 pounds, lost all of my hair, and had crippling joint pain. I did not recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror, because the disease had morphed every inch of my outward appearance. It was unreal to think that my body was trying to completely destroy itself. Reflecting back over the last 3 years, I have come a long way and every single day I am thankful for how awesome life is.  

I like the word awesome.  It is a word I purposely overuse, as it rightly describes how I feel about so many things. That’s my reality and that’s the truth of it.  This ride will be a significant symbol of a remission, a fantastic reality check, and a small expression of gratitude for the support I've gotten from my family and friends. They were my backbone and the solidarity of their support was a kind of unconditional love I had never known.  It is what kept me afloat, generating energy within me to keep on keepin’ on.

So, I will be biking on this adventure because I can. Because 3 years ago this month I remember looking at the reflection of a head shaven, frail young woman on her knees at the end of the hallway not being able to physically walk to the end of the stairs. Because the disease completely broke down my body but it never broke down a small spark inside of me. And most of all because the disease will never define who I am.

This bike ride is dedicated to those with Lupus, and to their families and friends who support them. It is for my roommate’s mother, Maggie Ondrus, who passed away from the disease in 2001. It is also for anyone who thinks that they can’t do something they've always wanted to do. Your attitude towards any situation determines the outcome; ultimately the only person holding you back, is you. It’s not always easy, but there isn't much in life that is.  There's a unique beauty that lies within overcoming difficulties. This beauty is impressive and inspires great admiration. It is meaningful, it is excellent and it is the definition of awesome.

We orginally planned on raising $1,160 which represented the number of days since I was last in the hospital for Lupus.  After surpassing that amount, we hope to continue to raise money until we ride.  The donations will go a long way to help the Michigan Lupus Foundation and it will bring awareness to the disease, supporting those going through their own battles.  If you are able to donate any money towards this cause, I would sincerely appreciate it!  If you can’t, thank you for taking the time to read this and please consider passing word along to anyone who might be interested.

Much love,




To This Fundraiser


  • Megan Mincheff


  • Kevin


  • Hanna Bagley


  • Deb Schaffer


  • Eric Saunders


  • Cori Noordyk


  • Kurt Vonnegut


  • Natalie Johnson


  • Brittany Smithwick


  • Elle & Jess


  • Rich and Roxanne Leder


  • Lee Bunting


  • Betsy and Paul


  • Katie and Derek


  • Natalie Naze


  • Uncle Mike and Aunt Annie


  • The Rovin Family


  • Jennie St. John


  • Aaron and Lindsey Bonsall


  • Hannah


  • Marjean


  • Frank L'Huillier


  • Lindsey Bartelli


  • Steve DeBroux


  • Kristin


  • Katie and Geoff


  • Anonymous


  • Mom, Pete and Jimmy


  • Papa & Nana


  • Cathy and Perry


  • Klaus - your friend from Finland


  • Tom and Nancy Sullivan


  • The Stanchina Family


  • Tom and Doris


  • Wally, Eve, RJ and Hannah Haley


  • Evergreen, CO


  • Jill & Jim Barron


  • Mark, Sherry, Michelle, Chase and Brett St. Cyr


  • Rye Sauce


  • Linus Pauling


  • Ondrus Family


  • Patrick Ondrus


  • Frank Cuccia


  • Beckers


  • Toni Angeli


  • Kellie Holmstrom


  • Anonymous


  • Chris and Jeff VanAbel


  • Zombie PE Teacher


  • Anonymous


  • Kathy, Kim, Ryan, Scott Frazier


  • Anonymous


  • The Meade-Millers


  • Cindy and Perry Stoppa


  • The O'Mara Family


  • Natasha Cesar


  • Aikman/Cesar Family


  • Susan and Jim Divine


  • in memory of Jake Prevost


  • Cashmans


  • P.A.M. Dirac


  • Ernest "The Crocodile" Rutherford


  • Bren and Sue LaForais


  • QRD


  • Mark Canale


  • Nancy Bianchi Speaker


  • Dawnna Mullen


  • James Cotter


  • Ed and Karen Angeli


  • Amanda and Sage


  • Nick Paquette


  • Hoss Bonaventure


  • Rob, Susan, Camille and Cameron


  • Laura Belmore Taube


  • Katie Balbierz


  • Cortney Ranta


  • Diane D'Amelio


  • Lauren


  • Lauren


  • Terrence Thole


  • Stacy Love


  • Jean Schultz


  • Janet Mingay Nyman


  • The Modson's


  • Ian Hennessey


  • Bret Thompson


  • Scott Sowers


  • Fogman


  • Ron Foster


  • Terence L. Marsh


  • Harvey & Marilyn Warburton


  • Judy Sova


  • Marie Sklodowska


  • G.B. Elion


  • Ellen Richards


  • Angie Cherrette


  • George & Kim Bundy


  • Jim & Gerry Rix


  • Rita "Kanye Midwest" Aderhold


  • Jorie Raymond Sligh



85% Raised of $7,500 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $6,400 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

Fundraiser Title

Jackie Saunders

Amount Raised



72% Raised of $7,500 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Gregory Ondrus

Amount Raised



142% Raised of $500 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Pat Aderhold

Amount Raised



402% Raised of $49 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Michael Davidson

Amount Raised



2000% Raised of $5 Goal

Donor Comments

Jorie Raymond Sligh

Jorie Raymond Sligh

You guys are such an inspiration! Way to go - what an amazing thing you did! 5 years ago


Rita "Kanye Midwest" Aderhold

Pat forgot that his cousin Jolene has Lupus as well. Maybe if he wasn't so busy thinking about carbs he would remember these things. 5 years ago

Jim & Gerry Rix

Jim & Gerry Rix

Very honored to have the privilege to contribute to your cause. 5 years ago

George & Kim Bundy

George & Kim Bundy

Fantastic job by all 4 riders, and the many supporters that made this event possible. Looking forward to next years gearly tour adventure. 5 years ago

Angie Cherrette

Angie Cherrette

Way to go, Jack!! I'm so proud of you! You're amazing and inspiring. Rock on sista! Love ya! 5 years ago

Ellen Richards

Ellen Richards

5 years ago

G.B. Elion

G.B. Elion

You're no daisy, but this bike ride IS a phenomenal idea! Who thought of this? Ride on! 5 years ago

Marie Sklodowska

Marie Sklodowska

Three things: helmet, bike, waffles 5 years ago

Judy Sova

Judy Sova

5 years ago

Harvey & Marilyn Warburton

Harvey & Marilyn Warburton

5 years ago