BENEFITING: DAVIS PHINNEY FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: John Paul
EVENT: i25 Kia Copper Triangle
EVENT DATE: Aug 05, 2017
Over the last year we have acclimated our lungs and bodies to the caribbean heat, humidity, and altitude - we have learned to walk slower, seek shade, avoid midday heat, and take in the beauty around us. And although we are living in a mountainous region, the highest peak reaches 3,000ft. Needless to say, we are woefully underprepared for the Copper Triangle: 10,000ft-12,000ft altitude, dry air, 78 miles, 6,000 feet of climbing, and 3 mountain passes. But we will return to the US for a short trip in order to ride anyway (may the spirit of Nairo Quitana carry us far).
As many of you know, the Copper Triangle is a significant event for my family and a ride that we have done for the last 7 years in order to support my incredible mom and raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinsons. DPF has become a strong source of support and encouragement for my family, and my mom, in particular, who was diagnosed with early-onset parkinson's disease 10 years ago.
The Davis Phinney Foundation focuses on creative and practical strategies for improving life and health while facing the daily challenge of living with a chronic, progressive disease - and they are attentive to the smaller, less noticed and unexpected issues that arise as a result of the disease and medications (insomnia, fatigue, difficulty with decisionmaking, constipation, constantly shifting medications, loss of control and constantly living with the unexpected, dealing with the instability that each day presents something new and uncertainty in how one might feel on a day to day basis, loss of voice, difficulty swallowing, shuffled walk, increased anxiety and depression as a chemical result of the lack of dopamine produced by the body, feeling socially isolated). While the majority of people think that Parkinsons is just a tremor, those living with it face a multitude of invisible realities, the real nastiness of the disease - and the Davis Phinney Foundation has been fundamental in creating a community of care, understanding, and providing support to the things that make Parkinsons most difficult to live with, but which are the least attended to. What we have learned over and again is that more important than medication, finding ways to build a community of care is absolutely central to living well despite the many challenges. It is especially significant to be surrounded with a community comprised of those who most intimately understand the day-to-day challenges - to know we are not alone and to fight the isolation that often accompanies Parkinsons. This is the most important part of the Copper Triangle for us - we have now a full network of friends from all over the US who we can gather with as the result of the Davis Phinney Foundation. And even more importantly, it has encouraged us, as a family, to recognize the importance of continuing to exercise - one of the few things that helps slow the progression of the disease and absolutely crucial for quality of life (though very difficult when one is not feeling well).
Every year we look forward to riding the Copper Triangle Classic. The amount of support that my mom feels as each person crosses the finish line in support of her - and - as each donation comes in to support our team in this endeavor, is hard to describe. We are so excited to be riding again this year and hope you all can participate as part of our extended community of support!
This year Jeff and I need extra encouragement in order to ride & finish. It seems that long moto rides, the occasional mule ride, and hiking through the mountainous forests that our friends here tend to - full of mango, avocado, and pear trees (which means we spend as much time eating as we do hiking) are not quite adequate forms of training ...
BUT, on August 5, we ride will ride. We will ride for my mom, who everyday, even on bad days is training to ride a section of the Copper Triangle - who gets up, puts on her cycling gear and rides. And she does so with joy & enthusiasm. She is not afraid to tell people about the disease and she has not let the disease stop her from living her life everyday with love and passion.
We will ride for Jeff's grandpa, Ivan Yoder & great uncle, Kenny Steider both who struggled, lived, and continued to abundantly love their family with the daily challenges of parkinson's.
We will ride for Steve, who has had young-onset PD for several years and who rides, each year, across the country for PD - adding miles on the trip in order to participate in the copper triangle. Last year Steve woke up at 2am to begin the Copper Triangle ride and finished all 80 miles by 5pm.
We will ride because we are surrounded by inspiring individuals who demonstrate, on a daily basis, that with enough support it is possible to live well with parkinson's.
Please join us in participating and become part of our community of care -No donation is too small - and even $5 shows that you are thinking and supporting us in this endeavor! And thanks to those of you who have already generously given.
You can read more about my mom on the DPF website, just scroll down.
Angie & Jeff