None of the riders comes from a family with Huntington's.
1998, at the invitation of her Internet friend, Carmen Leal-Pock, author
of the books Faces of Huntington's and Portraits of Huntington's, Marie
attended the National HDSA Convention in Denver CO. After meeting people
afflicted with HD, Marie couldn't just walk away from it. She
desired to put her Christian faith into action, by following 1 John 3:18
" ... let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."
Marie joined Charlotte Reicks and another rider who were planning an
Infinity Loop around the United States (representing the American Bible
Society and the Lutheran Hour Ministries.) In the midst of this
cross-country ride they met John and Marie Elsner on the KATY Trail in
Missouri. "Bike For The Cure 99" raised $7187 for research.
Marie Nemec rode across America a second time, this time accompanied by
24 year old Scott Springer, a family friend of Pat and Paul Pillis of
Saranac Lake NY. $39,500 was raised, which included $18,000 in matching
funds from HDSA's Generation 2000 benefactors. In 2000, Marie was awarded
the Annual "Hunt Diser" Hero Award, presented in recognition
of outstanding contributions in the effort to cure Huntington's Disease.
This ride is chronicled on the Internet at
"Border War on HD" was
completed in 2001.This year's ride will be her fourth. Her husband Ron,
and sons Kevin and Justin have been most supportive of her efforts.
Charlotte is affectionately known as the "Energizer Bunny"
the group. She is 66 years old, grandmother of three, presently a medical
transcriptionist, and a former teacher and legal secretary. In 2000, Charlotte
joined her friend Dolores Rogers (age 70) and bicycled 700 miles in Colorado
for Habitat for Humanity. In 2001 she joined Amanda Adams and Marie Nemec
in riding "Border War on HD," from Vancouver BC to Tijuana MX.
$22,000 was raised, which included $11,000 in matching funds from HDSA's
Generation 2000 benefactors. "Border War on HD" is chronicled
John and Marie Elsner call Cedarburg Wisconsin "home." They
been bicycle touring since 1995. Their trips have taken them through the
United States, Canada, and Ireland. They met Marie Nemec while touring
on the KATY Trail in Missouri in May, 1999. They were awestruck with what
Marie and Charlotte were doing, riding their bicycles across the country
to raise awareness and funds. When they parted ways they were inspired
to follow in their footsteps. In 2001 that inspiration became reality
with a ride from Alaska to Florida on what they called "The Grizzlies
to Gators Tour." This tour covered 8500 miles in 6 ½ months
and raised over $10,000 for research and patient services for the Leukemia
and Lymphoma Society. This was a fully loaded, non-supported adventure.
This year they are honored to be teaming up with Marie and Charlotte to
help raise awareness and funds for Huntington's Disease, a disease they
knew nothing about before meeting Marie. Their "Grizzlies
to Gators" ride is chronicled on the Internet at www.uwm.edu/people/zjen/biketrip.html.