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.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ride Ataxia III

Although we're not participating in the ride this year, many others are. The 2009 Ride Ataxia III has 70 riders and the fundraising has now reached $175,000! The team is doing a GREAT job, riding in four days from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington in the pouring rain. sleet, and hail. This year the riders include FA patients, parents, researcher doctors, FARA employees, and even Outback Steakhouse employees. Read more about it at one (or all) of these places:

And a big thanks to Outback Steakhouse for their excellent support over the years, including providing all of the dinners for the ride this year and fundraising at their restaurants throughout the Northwest.

Way to go team!!!