Laurie's Bike Adventure
In 2010, our mother, Linda Cullen, passed away from Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 69. She had struggled with this disease for 15 years before finally succumbing after 4 years in a nursing home. Since that time, we have discovered that she carried an autosomal dominant gene for Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, called Presenilin 1. As it turns out, both my sister and I carry this gene. For us, it is a matter of time before we begin to exhibit symptoms of this debilitating disease. We can expect, like many in our mother's family, to begin seeing signs of memory loss and cognitive changes during our 50's. At this time, there is no medication that will help us to delay or reverse symptoms. It will likely be what eventually ends our lives.
Saying that, we are faced with the reality that life is short. Now is the time to follow our dreams. One of Laurie's dreams has always been to ride her bicycle across the USA, so we are making it happen this summer. No time to waste!
Laurie will start on June 18, 2016 right from her house in Edmonds, Washington. The first 2 days of the trip will be to Astoria, Oregon. Tamara and Loren will meet her in Astoria with the support van, the A-liner camper and her dog Apollo. On June 20th, she will begin her trek on the Transamerica Bicycle route, ending at the coast in Virginia in early September.
We would welcome support from friends and family along the way for gas, food, camping spots, and encouragement. We will be living frugally, as we all still have mortgages and bills to pay in Seattle while we are gone. All net proceeds from your donations that are not spent on trip necessities, will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association to be put towards further research for this terrible disease that affects our family and many others.
Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to us! We would love to see you along our trek, if we are coming through your neck of the woods. We already have plans to meet friends and family in Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Kansas, and Tennessee. Here is the link to the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail so you can see where Laurie will be riding:
And a link to Laurie's Blog about her bike adventure, which she will update along the way:
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Laurie Cullen and Chelle Draper
Tamara Evans and Loren Evans
We are in Kremmling, CO tonight and just watched an amazing thunderstorm come through. I miss those Colorado rainstorms! Tomorrow we meet up with some dear friends and then get to see family this next week.
You may be interested in this:
The Washington Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association published a blog post featuring our story and it is currently up on their website! They decided to go with a podcast to tell our story, rather than a written article - you can listen to it by clicking this link!
Yes, they said my name incorrectly, but hey, it's not the first time!! :)
Love to you all and thanks again for your support of our cause. (you can still donate through our page if you feel inspired to support Alzheimer's research! )
Congratulations on a job exceptinally well done Laurie and team. I'm glad this adventure was just as you had dreamed it. We will be eager to welcome you back to Seattle and Bastyr. Love, Jane
Can you hear us cheering on the West Coast??!!! So proud of you - what an incredible accomplishment. You are amazing.
Kentucky, woo hoo! SO close to your goal! You go, girl - hang in there through the heat and be glad you don't live there :)
Sounds challenging, Team Laurie! Hope you are surviving.... just now catching up on your progress after a major diversion in South Africa ;)
You are amazing. I love the way you live your life and the role model you are for Max! Such a gift.
I'm proud of you, Laurie. I can't wait to hear about your adventure when you get back. Congrats on making your goal.
Wow! you're almost at your goal! Congrats!!!