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 19, 2009

Ride Ataxia - Philadelphia

For anyone still following us, we're doing Ride Ataxia Philadelphia this coming weekend! It's a one-day ride that's more of a "family adventure" sort of thing, with 10 mile, 25 mile, and 50 mile routes. Linda and Kelly will do 10 miles, and Andy and Brian are signed up for 25 miles (although they might switch to 50). This is the first East Coast Ride Ataxia, and the hope is that this will continue to spread in the coming years to be a larger event across the country. In fact Kyle has now left his engineering job and works for FARA full-time (Yeah Kyle!). So wish us luck! And hope for nice weather! Here's the link (we're Team Johnson): Ride Ataxia - Philadelphia

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