Thank you for your support of the 2018 Pedaling for Parkinson’s (P4P) event. This year’s ride featured wonderful warm conditions and fantastic cycling through the scenic Parry Sound area. The hot weather was tempered by overcast skies keeping the sunburns to a minimum. The final results were awesome with a record 300+ riders raising a phenomenal $680,000 and the total is still climbing. Our team, Doug’s Friends and Family, continued to grow both in numbers and dollars raised. The team of 11 close friends and relatives received more than $7000 in contributions this year. I am always overwhelmed by the response to my annual “call for support” and the Parkinson research community have come to count on your faithful and generous contributions in their quest of finding a cure.
This year we formalized our team under the banner “Doug’s Family and Friends”. The team members did a great job fund raising and supported me throughout the ride. I have never felt so looked after. The crew of Art & Ruth (Calgary), Stephen & Sandra, Shannon & Vince, Colleen, Jordan (Jarrad has moved ahead of Jordan to a wine making opportunity in Sonoma), Liz (all the way from San Jose) and Ann feeding, driving, cheering and rescuing riders in need of help made up this herd of 11. Team members received cycling hats (see pictures) which quickly became the envy of the other riders who were not fortunate enough to be on our team.
The family weekend at Heart’s Content surrounding the P4P weekend has turned into the most anticipated events of my summer. Ann produced fantastic dinners for the entire team that had people raving and very full after each of the three day’s post-ride dinners. She ensured that all 11 of our team members were well fueled, had a spot to sleep and were ready to participate each day. Our team supplied logistical support on the road with both their vociferous support and on-the-road technical services. Ann and Sandra helped out each day and Jordan, Shannon and Vince alternated days on their bikes and providing non-riding support. All the riders had to do was spin the cranks and consume the scrumptious on-course homemade snacks.
On a personal note, I cannot express enough of my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you; my family and friends who donated to this cause. I very much enjoy cycling as it remains one of the declining number of types of exercise in which I can still fully participate. Each year as I renew my friendships with the veteran folks who have struggled with progressively worsening symptoms over a number of years and meet newly diagnosed Parkinson people who are trying to comprehend what their future holds, I am viscerally remained of how fortunate I am to be so diligently supported by my family and many friends.
The P4P volunteers were phenomenal starting with Peter and David’s parents supplying cookies and hugs, the great swag including Wayne’s unique hand make coffee mugs, honey from Peter’s hives at the Canadore campus and lots of drinks and snacks. Also a special shout out to Jon Collins who manned the BBQ serving up burgers and sausages for 300+ hungry riders. Peter and Dave have announced that this will be their last Pedal for Parkinson’s ride. I have been so very impressed with their hard work and dedication in keeping the family feel of the ride while the number of participant’s sky rocketed. Their talents will be missed however as they unfailingly produced the most memorable rides over the past 8 years with help of their families and their commitment to raising funds for Parkinson research. The cumulative P4P donations, of which 100% go to research, is a phenomenal two million dollars.
Thank you for your support in providing hope for a cure for me, others living with PD and the people who will be diagnosed in the future. More research is the only path to a cure. I have attached a picture that hopefully capture the pure sense of joy that I and the team members of Doug’s Friends and Family experienced.