It's that time of year again. Next month, I'll be riding a bicycle from Boston to Greenwich Connecticut to raise money to find a cure for ALS. It's my fourth year doing the ride, and our team, CRUSH ALS/Team Bannon, has gotten bigger every year and raised more money. Last year, we topped $200,000, and we hope to raise at least that much this year.
I participate in this ride because it's a lot of fun and keeps my ever expanding waist line in check, at least for a few months. But I also have a personal connection to ALS. My brother-in-law John Rooney died of ALS a few days after last year's ride concluded, and my mother-in-law, Mary Rooney,died from the disease in 2000. That's enough for one family. We are determined to find a cure.
There was some great news a few weeks ago. The FDA approved the first new drug to treat ALS in two decades. The ALS Therapy Development Institute, which is the beneficiary of this ride, is devoted to finding additional treatments for ALS and ultimately, of course, a cure.
This year, my old friends from Worthington High School, John McCarthy and Andy Foster, will join me once again, as well as my work pal, Alan Levin, and a new addition to the team, David "Bring the Heat" Voreacos. In the interest of full disclosure, I will not be riding the entire 275 miles this year. My son, Flynn Martin, is graduating from high school on Friday June 23, so I'm going to ride half the day and race back to New Jersey (and if I get stuck in traffic on I-95, I'm a dead man). Then I'll return Saturday morning and resume.
I'd appreciate whatever support you can provide. I've attached a video that was done last year by ALS TDI that, despite my severe squinting, does a nice job of explaining the purpose of the ride.