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!