Starting March 2021, I will begin biking across the U.S. with my boyfriend, Greg Goodman, as we raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease.
This cause is very close to my heart: Five years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 49. I was only 17 at the time and it felt surreal that my own beloved father could be struggling with a neurological disorder. While many people have heard of PD, not everyone understands how people and their families are affected. PD is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes tremors, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and many other symptoms. In addition, many people with PD, like my Dad, are on lots of medication that alleviate their symptoms but also leave them dealing with side affects that can be exhausting. It can be difficult to watch all the changes that occur in someone you love that has been diagnosed with PD, but I know it is nothing compared to the struggles that my Dad faces daily.
There are times when a family struggling with PD can feel totally helpless. Today, there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease, but the Micheal J. Fox Foundation is working tirelessly to change that. It is foundations like this that give me a hope! Just to know that there are others that care about research to find an end to PD is empowering.
My Dad is a very kind, generous, humble, sensitive and loving person. He approaches his diagnoses with the most positive attitude, taking every opportunity to make a joke of his own challenges! He inspires me every day to follow my dreams, believe in myself, and to never take oneself too seriously :)
We are biking from Florida to California not only to visit family out west and see new places along the way, but also to raise awareness for PD and support the Micheal J. Fox foundation.
Countless adventures, including backpacking the 800 mile Arizona Trail, paddle boarding for 4 weeks on the Connecticut River, and living out of our pickup truck and tent all over the country have certainly prepared Greg and I for the trip.
Thank you for supporting this cause that is so close to my heart!