At 6am on June 22, I will embark on the Tri-State Trek for my 7th consecutive year. The Trek is the 270-mile bike ride from Boston to Greenwich, CT to raise money and awareness for ALS -- commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
I started riding the Trek in 2012 in honor of my mother-in-law, Betty Anne Chapman. She was amused (and possibly skeptical) that I was going to ride for her to raise money. I was happy that I got to ride twice while she was still alive. I will never forget the sense of hopelessness our family felt in the face of this terrible illness: no one knows what causes it, it generally results in total paralysis within 2-5 years, and there is still no cure.
I ride in Betty Anne’s memory, but I’ve met lots of people since who have ALS and now I ride for them too. We are giving them hope. Riding this challenging event, raising money, talking about ALS, helps all those people suffering from the disease face their future with increased optimism.
The money we raise specifically supports research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Cambridge, MA (www.als.net). Thanks to the money raised by the Trek, a new potential treatment is headed to the clinic this year. AT1501, a novel compound discovered and developed at ALSTDI, will begin Phase 1 testing in the next few months.
Our team, Crush ALS, has been the No. 1 fundraiser for the Trek for the past 5 years. With your help and generosity, we raised an astonishing $250,000 last year alone. This year, the cumulative team fundraising will cross the $1mm mark.
This year, we will have 28 riders and crew (with Margot and my 4 kids all part of the crew). Over the years, I have been joined by several friends; plan to ride in 2019 as the experience and camaraderie is amazing. Notably, two of our Crush team members met on the Trek and got married last summer!
Many of you have supported me multiple times. Thank you. Believe me, I reflect on this as we crank up the Connecticut hills in June. I continue to ask for your donations because we are making a difference. Whether you give once or annually, large or small, each bit makes a difference. We are closer to a cure than we have ever been.
To donate, please click “Donate now” or send a check to Crush ALS, c/o me, Clarion Partners, 230 Park Avenue, NY, NY 10169 or http://tst.als.net/macdonnell.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.