Thanks for helping us add another great rideATAXIA to the books, team! We had a great turnout. The Dallas ride raised over $89,000! $23,454 of that was raised by Team Kendall which consisted of 26 riders, earning us the top spot as a fundraising team for the third year in a row!
As always, I am so humbled and my heart is SO FULL after all of the love and support that was shown to me. You guys rock my world. I hope that every Team Kendall supporter, rider, and donor knows that you are literally changing my life and investing in my very future here on earth. There is no greater gift than that. So once again, THANK YOU!
Team Kendall was well represented in all distances this year. We had a bunch of 6-milers, a healthy amount of 25-milers, and a handful of brave 50-milers! My son, Brooks, even got to ride in a trailer attached to my husbands bike. Our steady pace lulled him to sleep and he actually got a little nap in. I bet that was a first - a sleeping ride participant!
One of my favorite parts of the ride is an annual excuse to get the family together. So many relatives from near and far come every year to support Team Kendall. I wish I could find another word to describe the feeling, but "humbling" will have to do again. We also have many family-friends (who, let's face it, count as family) who join us every year. It just warms my heart to have so many loved ones in one place.
It is always fun to see my fellow FA patient friends from near and far that call the Dallas ride home. Some friends are from as far as Kansas! Seeing them is always a great reminder of the community I am rallying Team Kendall for. I am not just fighting for my future, but theirs as well.
Our trip to DFW was slightly extended this year because I had the opportunity to share my story and FA experience with a Dallas drug company that is actively working on a clinical trial, Reata Pharmaceuticals. These fine folks had myself and 4 other FA patients speak at a "Brunch and Learn" to the whole company. We heard many times over how nice it was for them to put a "face to the disease" and the researchers told us that they have renewed passion to work harder to help us find a cure. Wow! What more could I ask for? What an honor it was to thank them in person for their life-saving work. I look forward to celebrating a cure with them one day.
As always, our rideATAXIA support staff is invaluable and incredible. The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance staff is made up of the most passionate, dedicated, hard-working and friendly group of people you will ever find. What a blessing to have them on my side, rooting for my future. And our sponsors: Outback Steakhouse, World of Beer, Reata Pharmaceuticals, and many many more, are the best partners. It is like a giant pep rally every year. We can all sense how close we are to a cure and can't wait for that to come, as a team.
(most of) the 2016 Team Kendall
My Aunt Catherine (from Atlanta) and my dad, David.
My Uncle Keith and Aunt Cheryl, our gracious hosts!
My handsome hubby, Kyle.
The whole team the night before the ride, getting our protein fix at a local BBQ hot spot!
My mom, Shirley, and brother, Cameron.
Selfie with Mom!
The top 5 fundraisers with rideATAXIA founder, Kyle Bryant
My son, Brooks, napping after the 6-mile ride.
Kyle and I with the Marstiller's, holding up Dave, our brave 50-mile rider!
Go, Dad, go!
Mom and Aunt Cheryl "stopping to smell the roses!"
Enjoying a fantastic lunch provided by Outback after the ride.
Andrea, Jen Farmer (FARA Executive Director), Christin, myself and Natalie at Reata Pharmaceuticals.
All in all, it was another great ride. I look forward to a great 2017 (unless we cure FA before then!)