In 1997, Marie became aware of HD through meeting Carmen
Leal, author of Faces of Hunrington's, on the Christian
Writer's group list on the Internet. In June 1998, at Carmen's invitation, Marie attended
the 13th Annual HDSA Convention in Denver, CO. After this experience, she was deeply
touched. Her Christian faith required action;
"... let us not love with word
or with tongue but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18). Marie and Charlotte met
through a mutual friend, and the trio rode across America together in 1999.
Canyons to Cactus 2009 is the eleventh ride for HD; prior
rides include two coast-to-coast rides (1999 and 2000), Border War
on HD (Vancouver, BC, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico), Ramble
'Round the Colonies (Manchester, NH - Columbus, OH), Trek
Across Texas (Texline, TX - Houston, TX), Kick HD on Route 66 (Albuquerque,
NM - St. Louis, MO), Coastin' for HD (Wilmington, DE - Atlanta,
GA), Midwest Meander for HD (Kearney, NE - Milwaukee, WI and
Chicago, IL - St. Loius, MO), and Rockies to Plains (Grand
Junction, CO -Oklahoma City, OK), and Cycle the Heartland (Clinton MO - Pittsburgh PA.). More than 17,000 miles have been pedaled
through parts of 39 states and Washington DC. Our fundraising goal this year is $47,000
to bring the total raised to $500,000 and to add one more state (Utah) to our total.
Agaiin, this year's ride is lovingly dedicated to the memory of those we have met,
from 1998-2009, who are with us in spirit, but no longer suffering on earth.