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Grand Junction Free Press Article on 5/25/2007

Charlotte Reicks, 71, and Marie Nemec, 63, in front of the home of Pablo and Connie Perea. Reicks and Nemec will be leaving May 31 for their ninth annual long-distance bike ride to raise public awareness and funds for family services and research toward a cure for Huntington's Disease.

Riding for a cure

By Sharon Sullivan - GJ Free Press

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sixty-three-year-old Marie Nemec, and Charlotte Reicks, who'll be 72 in July, are about to embark on their ninth long-distance bike ride to raise public awareness and funds for Huntington's Disease research and family services.

    People are invited to a send-off Thursday at 6:30 a.m. at Eagle Rim Park next to Orchard Mesa Middle School. There will be muffins provided by Homestyle Bakery, and departure will be at 7:30 a.m. Anyone wanting to ride along for awhile is welcome to bring his/her bike.

     This year Nemec and Reicks will be joined on their "Rockies to Plains 2007" bike tour by Sandy Lozier of Nebraska, and Sherri Kole, of Idaho. The women will arrive June 14, in Oklahoma City for the 22nd annual convention of the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

    Legendary folksinger and Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie died of Huntington's Disease in 1967. His widow, Marjorie, founded the Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease, which evolved into the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

    Huntington's Disease is a progressively degenerative brain disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation on the fourth chromosome. Those afflicted eventually lose the ability to walk, think, talk, reason and swallow.

    This year's ride will cross the Continental Divide at 11,312 feet elevation on Monarch Pass. From there, it's downhill into southeast Colorado and the Oklahoma panhandle.

    Neither Nemec nor Reicks has Huntington's Disease in their families. They just share a commitment to find a cure.

    Kole, 51, met Nemec through the on-line Huntington's Disease list. Kole's first husband died of Huntington's Disease, and their 33-year-old son tested positive for the gene in 2005.

    Lozier also met Nemec through the on-line Huntington's Disease list. Her mother is in the later stages and in a nursing home. Her uncle and brother are affected, and nine other relatives are at risk. Lozier, 50, tested negative in 2000.

    The women are seeking donations to go toward finding a cure and to help families affected by Huntington's Disease. Huntington's Disease Society of America has a Research Matching Gifts Challenge Fund that will triple donations.

    The past eight bicycle rides have raised more than $317,000 for research and family services.

    Daily messages will be written during the ride recounting highlights of the trip. To receive a subscription, e-mail Nemec's husband Ron at ron.nemec@earthlink.net. The ride can also be tracked on the Internet at http://www.bikeforthecure.org/.

    Donations may be sent to:

Marie Nemec
Rockies to Plains 2007
3087 - A 1/2 Road
Grand Junction, CO. 81503-9678.

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