This time last year, I was training to ride Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge Gran Fondo to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation through Team Fox. My Mom, who has Parkinson’s disease, couldn’t help me train for last year’s ride, but this year, she’s joining me as I get back on my feet. Yesterday, for the first time with my new hip, my mom and I walked (I used crutches) to the end of the block and back.
The Parkinson’s patient was in the lead for most of the race. My mom let me catch up but despite concerted efforts, the hip resurfacing patient lost. My mom was tired after the walk but unlike her son, she didn’t throw up. I’ll blame my post-race episode on my performance reducing pain drugs, which have caused me to have bouts of nausea since surgery. I now have new medication that hasn’t made me as light headed, so hopefully, I’ll be in good shape for our next walk.
As I sat clutching the bucket of barf, it occurred to me that I am only going to get better. But my mom’s condition is only going to worsen. Millions of people live with painful arthritis and there may not be a “fix” for their condition – I don’t want to make light of their suffering and my heart goes out to those people. But my prognosis is that I’ll soon be back to doing activities I haven’t done in years. So walking with my mom was a reminder that while I will recover, she may not.
I’m not riding the Gran Fondo this year, but as a thank you to my mom for helping me recover, I made a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. If you know someone suffering from Parkinson’s, a disease for which there is no cure, and you want to let them know how much they mean to you, I encourage you to click here and make a contribution to fund Parkinson’s research.
Thanks for being here, Mom. Now go get your shoes on because I’m ready for Round 2!