Since we have reached our initial financial goal, please note that additional donations beyond our needs will be given to the Alzheimer's Association after the end of the ride in our mother's name. Thank you for your support!!
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: https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/transamerica-trail/
And a link to Laurie's Blog
about her bike adventure, which she will update along the way:http://lauriesbikeadventure.blogspot.com/
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Laurie Cullen and Chelle Draper
Tamara Evans and Loren Evans