We're Linda and Andy Johnson, from Cazenovia, New York. What began as a blog about a bike ride has become a story about our ride through life, trying to overcome a disease that has had a huge impact on us and on many of our friends.

Our journey began in 2007, when Kyle Bryant originated the idea of Ride Ataxia - riding his three-wheeled cycle from San Diego to the annual National Ataxia Foundation meeting in Memphis. It took two months to get there, and in the process he raised $40,000 to fund Ataxia research and he raised awareness of the disease like no one has before. Well he rode to the annual meeting again in 2008 and we joined him! We left from Sacramento and arrived in Las Vegas two weeks and 650 miles later.

You see Linda also has Friedreich's Ataxia. This inherited disease causes the nerves of the body to deteriorate. Linda (and Kyle) can still walk at this point, but it's getting much more difficult. In addition, speech gets slurred, finger dexterity suffers, and other serious complications can develop as time goes on.

The good thing is that research is more promising than ever! Several drugs are going through trials at this time, with other significant research taking place as you read this. There has never been a better time to contribute to this research! Let's cure this disease - for Linda, for the rest of the Ride Ataxia team, and for all of the others afflicted with this disease!

Enjoy our blog! Feel free to write to us any time. Check out the links in the right column below to read more about the disease and our adventures. And if nothing else, be sure to take the seven minutes to watch FARA's video - we couldn't say it better ourselves.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Great Day!

The weather was great, the participation (over 400 riders) was incredible, our team (Linda's Lifesavers) was superb, the riding was fun, and we raised a pile of money to cure this disease!!!

Here's Linda's Lifesavers team:


Notice the bright blue sky!  Notice the smiling faces (this was AFTER the ride)!  And notice from the fundraising site that our team exceeded our goal of raising $10,000, and the whole group exceeded the goal of raising $125,000!  Right now the total is at $128,000 and still climbing - that's enough to fund at least one new research trial!

Our team of 18 had a great day!  There were plenty of interesting stories from the ride, but no complaints!  Some of us did the 10 mile route, some did the 25, and some did the 50; all finishing in good time (many hours less than Andy took to ride the 50 last year).

Of course we want to thank everyone involved.  Our team of 18 riders came through with flying colors!  Our supporters were great!  Those who donated to the ride pulled out all the stops!  The folks at FARA are out of this world - in terms of medicine, research, business, organization, politics... and as true friends.  We are indebted to ALL of you.  This disease WILL be cured, and it will be because of all of you!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Andy and Linda

Friday, October 8, 2010

We Leave in the Morning

We're packing everything up this afternoon and leaving first thing in the morning.  The weather is looking amazing for the whole weekend - sunny and in the 70's!  The whole group has now raised over $100,000 and it's still climbing - that will be enough to fund another trial!  We're totally impressed with all of the support we've received, and we can't wait to see our friends, family, and FA peeps tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Donations

We've almost made our goal!!!  But don't let that keep you from donating anyway!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nice Ride

We had a very nice ride today, although it was kind of short (only 8 miles).  Beautiful weather though!  We've been thankful that it's been nice on our riding weekends.  Only one more week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Training

We hate to call it "training," but that's what all the real "cyclists" say.  We just think of it as a nice ride through the countryside.  So today we rode down the big hill into town, had breakfast at a nice diner, then rode back home (avoiding that big hill, but taking others instead).  A total of about ten miles, with no problems at all.  Well, Kelly thought the bacon should have been fattier, but other than that no complaints.  And Kelly went and found a geocache while we were in town, so that was a bonus for her!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Team

We're now up to twenty riders!  And that's just our team; never mind the hundreds of other riders that will be there.  Here's the rundown:

  • Andy, Linda, Brian, and Kelly Johnson
  • Kevin, Michelle, Matt, and Tara McGarry
  • Brad and Cheryl Post, with Kate cheering
  • Chris, Carolyn, Erica, Grant, and Gavin Radler
  • Jamie and Wendy Wright, and their son
  • Chris Schierer, with Kristin and the rest of the family cheering
  • Beverly Smith
It's starting to get exciting!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ride Ataxia Philly 2010

Well, we're doing it again!  This year we've even formed a team of riders - we've got about 18 riders signed up.  The ride will be October 10 this year.  Check out our fundraising page and stay tuned as we get closer to the big event.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Race Across America

Kyle and his buddies are at it again. This time in a really BIG way! Kyle, Sean, Mike and John are racing across America. Team FARA is one of 39 teams taking part in RAAM, racing their way from the West coast to the East coast. One of the four teammates is always riding, and by keeping it up 24 hours a day for nine days they'll make it to Maryland in nine days, arriving around June 21. Unbelievable! All to raise awareness for FA - Kyle and Sean both have FA. Check it out: http://teamfara.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 5, 2010

Great Story

Our good (and anonymous) friend wrote a great piece on his blog about Linda and our life.  He's an ER doctor, a great writer, and a very good friend.  Check it out.  And we encourage you to follow his blog for some inspiring stories.  Thanks doc!  We miss you!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Keith Andrus: 12/21/1985 - 1/22/2010

We just received the very sad news that Keith Andrus has passed away at the too-young age of 24. Keith was the son of the FARA president Ron Bartek and his wife Raychel. Keith's diagnosis of FA led Ron and Raychel to found FARA back in 1998, and they have continued on tirelessly as our fearless leaders. Keith will be sorely missed by many. Our hearts are with Keith's family during these very difficult times.