Riding for FPS
Four years ago, I set off on a personal quest to cycle cross county and raise funds for the FPS mission. Eighteen days into my trip, I was struck by a truck in Iowa and because of my injuries, was left paralyzed. In one quick moment, my life changed forever. My road back from this accident was the most challenging time of my life, and each day was a struggle. Yet, three months after the accident, my friend Chris Kaag of the IM ABLEFoundation, gave me a loaner bike to use and my re-entry into bicycling started. This cycling was different –for it was with my hands and not my feet.
I knew that when I was in rehab after the accident that I would one day complete this ride. And the time is now! I am in Iowa and ready to complete the remaining 1200 miles with my ultimate goal of putting my chair and hands in the mighty ocean when I reach my destination in Ocean City, NJ.
My grandfather, Earl “Pinky” died of cancer when I was a sophomore at Bloomsburg; I know what cancer can do and this too strikes you in a moment without notice. And all you have left when someone dies of cancer are memories that flood your heart and mind. My memory of “Pinky” is about riding, riding miles of trail, together. And so I dedicate my ride to my grandfather.
For the next month, I will ride for the families that FPS helps each day –young families facing a bright future whoin one second hear the word cancer and their lives are changed forever. It is during this challenging time that FPS reaches out to families and helps them realize that they do not walk the cancer journey alone; FPS is next to them every mile of the way. Whether families makes memories as part of the Travel Respite Program or create special moments with a Staycation Respite at home, the gift of family, the support of community and the kindness and generosity of strangers forever impacts the lives of hundreds facing cancer each yearthough the FPS mission.
So today, four years later, I am continuing my quest to finish my cross country trip, to raise funds for families in the cancer crisis, and to be a beacon of hope that no matter what obstacle life presents, you can never give up.
Join me on my ride! Jared
PS. Check out my story here and get a good look at my trustypal Titan: https://ktiv.com/2020/09/21/cyclist-back-in-siouxland-to-finish-bicycle-trip-after-accident-that-left-him-in-a-wheelchair/
PSS. You can track my route on my Facebook page. It is going to take me from Hinton, Iowa through Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Chicago, South Bend, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. My final destination willbe Ocean City, New Jersey. Maybe I will see you at the finish line!
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