Shannon's Fundraising for Matt Dowd 's Fundraising Page (2011)
Help Me and Team America Cure ALS
Please help me cure ALS.
When I met Matt Dowd I had no idea what I was in for.
Matt was handsome, clever, strong willed. He had a grand sense of humor, with aspecial affinity for his own jokes. He had a full life: career at IBM, weekends spent roaring around in his crazy Fastback Mustang, proudly refurbishing his new home. He was content – overjoyed at the prospect of becoming an uncle, relishing being outside fishing or playing softball, taking extraordinary trips with his brother, and begrudgingly spent time with me in the much-dreaded city all the while taking every chance to show off his cooking skills and enjoying a glass of wine.
Atage 32 Matt was diagnosed with ALS. Often showing up without warning, ALS(Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is an insidious disease; it attacks motorneurons forcing a person’s muscles into a cruel path of betrayal of the body as slowly muscles stop working.
ALS has no treatment there is no cure.
ALS was determined to change Matt. It took away his ability to walk, sing awful songs from the likes of Black Sabbath, hold his beautiful nephew, simply enjoy a warmpiece of pepperoni pizza with an iced cold beer and ultimately to breathe. But, those of us who knew Matt saw that ALS could not change him. Matt persevered - a stronger version of himself – delightfully challenging (or terribly stubborn, depending on the day), a fiercely loyal friend, a loving son, a supportive brother. Matt’s mantra became “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” he was resolute in his new life with ALS and his fight for a cure. ALS took Matt from us six years ago, and I am proud to continue his fight for a cure. I had no idea what I was in for when I met Matt and learned what having ALS meant. Matt showed me greatness and inspired me to do more to find a cure for those facing ALS.
Six years ago I rode my first Tri-State Trek … I had no idea what I was in for!
Three days. 270 miles. Riders leave Newton, MA and travel gloriously untouched backroads from Massachusetts to New York and finish back in Greenwich, CT. It is not an easy course. Hills seem endless and the sun, at times, unforgiving. It is worth it. Day Three is the most challenging - 70 miles of steep hills. Each year sleepy riders leave at daybreak. We Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night!Toward the end faster riders join family, friends and supporters to line the hardest hill of the day, which looms at mile 260. They lay down their bikes and cheer each and every rider up the hill at “John’s Street.” It comforts me beyond words to know they will be there, helping me up that hill, helping me fight Matt’s fight to cure ALS. We finish our ride together – united in our goal for a cure. It is breathtaking.
Ineed your help. I have pledged to raise $1,800 this year for ALS-TDI (www.als.net). I am confident in their mission and unyielding commitment to find a cure. Their CEO, Dr. Steven Perrin, rides with us – now that is commitment! This year I am also riding and fundraising withTeam America. We share a desire to cure ALS in honor of our friend Steve whose courage overwhelms. Please help me reach my goal and be part of this amazing event. No amount is too small and each contribution will support and comfort those I know and am inspired by who face ALS.
As always, thank you for your generosity. I cannot wait to ride the Trek again this year. I also look forward to a cure and I am so grateful that you will bepart of it with me.