At 6am on June 21, I will embark on the Tri-State Trek for my 8th consecutive year. The Trek is a 270-mile bike ride from Boston, MA to Greenwich, CT to raise money and awareness to fund research to cure 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 now met lots of people who have ALS, and I ride for them too. We are giving them hope. Riding this challenging event, raising money, and 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). Since I began riding in the Tri State Trek, ALS-TDI has developed a novel antibody known as AT-1501, which acts in a highly targeted, disease-specific way to tamp down the immune system. This potential therapy has been extensively screened and is being used in clinical trials. The estimated cost of the Phase 2 portion of this trial is a whopping $30 million.
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 $200,000 last year alone, and our little team crossed a cumulative $1 million raise in 2018.
This year, we will have 29 riders and crew (with James and Betsy, two of my kids, as part of the crew). Over the years, I have been joined by several friends; I invite you to ride in 2020, as the experience and camaraderie is amazing.
Many of you have supported me multiple times. Thank you. Believe me, I reflect on this and appreciate it as we crank up the Connecticut hills in June. I continue to ask for your donations because we are making a difference.
To donate, please click “Donate now" - 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.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.