Guest post: My Ride to Defeat ALS

A sampling of the route.
(Photos by Maria Schur)

Maria Schur, a.k.a. “Bicycle Kitty” is a Portland-based bike lover and ride leader. You might have sampled her handiwork if you did the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride. In this post she shares her experience as a volunteer at the Ride to Defeat ALS earlier this month.

I’m not sure whether to feel terrible for Lou Gehrig because he died young from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or because his name has become almost synonymous with this debilitating and often fatal disease instead of for his illustrious career as a talented professional baseball player.

I didn’t know much about ALS before joining the Ride to Defeat ALS last Saturday. 75 miles gave me a lot of time to think about the privilege of good health, and the struggle of the folks diagnosed with ALS and their families. ALS is a motor neurone disease, weakening the victim’s muscles until eventually they’re unable to breathe. It’s always fatal and a diagnosis usually means the patient will die within five years.

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