Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hope on 2 Wheels - Mission Complete

It wasn't that long ago that I got a call from Scott Kasper - founder of Hope on 2 Wheels - asking if I was busy on 6/23.  In a few hours I was signed up to ride with 23 teammates from NYC to DC - 252 miles. 

Our team gathered for the first time on Friday 6/22 just outside of the 9/11 Memorial in NYC.  We came from all over.  We all had different stories.  But one thing was certain - they all had Type A personalities like me - and all of them were there because someone they love has (or had) diabetes.

Our journey began at 4:45 am as we assembled to ride.  The banter begins with a lot of one-liners flung between Josh, Tony and I.  I'm told I will not be riding in front of Josh if I ate any of the hard boiled eggs Scott provided at breakfast.  We roll out and head to the JDRF Headquarters where we meet Noah (otherwise known as the Diabetes Dude).  He is wearing a Riding on Insulin shirt which immediately makes me want to call Sean and Mollie Busby, but no time for that, its time to roll.

Our adventure continues with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  Surreal to be looking out at the Statue of Liberty on my bike. 

Shortly into our very pothole and bumpy ride on the island, the port authority kindly took us over a bridge they shut down for us.  We are on to New Jersey.

The team is ready to rock and the adrenalin is definitely kicking in.  On to mile 23 where Scott arranged for bag pipes in Jesse's honor. I had with me a test strip of his that had fallen out of my laundry while I was preparing for the trip.  It was in my intention to leave it at mile 23 but it didn't feel right.  I decided instead to place it inside the flag on the back of our lead motorcycle as it blared 80s hairband music throughout the trip.  (it continues on from there as the driver asked if it would be ok for it to stay there and continue throughout the country with him).  I could give no words at this spot.  I had no voice, only tears.

Onward and upward (or downward) we went.  Through New Jersey, into Delaware and Maryland.  So much happened in between.  A highlight would be the New Jersey check point that really DID have a cheer section.  It was nice to be greeted by so many cute kids with "d".

As we biked into the night sky and turned our lights on we realized we were up against many things - deer...traffic...the dark... we make the decision to be safe and get off the road those last few miles and instead safely deliver us close to the finish.  We rode in together at mile 252, everyone healthy, everyone safe and me with 23 new brothers and sisters in this world.  Best. Diabetes. Summer. Camp. Ever.

HOWEVER - WE ARE NOT AT THE FINISH LINE.  Diabetes still exists.  Are you compelled to help end it? 

This Sunday is Jessepalooza - a rockfest to honor Jesse the way we think he would like to be honored - rocking out.  If you cannot join us at Capital Brewery from 3-10pm for good music, fun things for kids and lots of cold beer for the adults - I ask you to PLEASE consider donating at www.jessepalooza.org.  There is a "donate" button on the home page.  IF you donate $23 or more, you are automatically entered to win our grand prize.  It's big!  It's HUGE!  And anyone in the country can use it!!!!  Please spread the word. 

DONATE AT www.jessepalooza.org 

252 miles for you, little man.  We miss you. 


Unknown said...

Amazing job, Michelle! You made Jesse proud... again! Congratz on a safe, fun and amazing ride adding to your other big accomplishments. Keep on! Godspeed, Jesse.
Best wishes for a super Jessepalooza!

ruzzel01 said...

Mission complete! At last.

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