Tucson Hospitality (Friday, July 23)

Friday was a great day. We met with Peter and Patrick from Destination Cycling to sort out the equipment, and my daughters spent the day at the pool. We stopped by the office of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and Cindy presented us with a large magnet to stick on our van—a photograph of her three beautiful children: Michael, Marcia and Christa. The photograph is on the driver’s side door of the van—the most visible location from the road. This photo in and of itself is our motivation to raise awareness and funding to support Niemann-Pick research through this ride.

Cindy Parseghian

The Tucson evening event was AWESOME. About 100 people attended to wish us well. Cindy spoke passionately about the Foundation and about her children and other children with Niemann-Pick disease. Cindy always speaks about being blessed by those around her, her community, her friends, her family, and the Notre Dame family. Cindy and Mike’s resolve is inspiring and what they have been able to accomplish with the Foundation is astonishing. Coach Parseghian shared with us his football analogy before we left Notre Dame:

In 1994 when the Foundation was started, we were backed up in our own territory and doing a lot of punting. Today through the Foundation-sponsored research, it is 4th and inches at the goal line. With our partnership with the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and our collaborative efforts around the country and world, we are ready to take it into the end zone—one more win for Ara.

Pictures on the Wall

The club thought about us when they prepared dinner: pizza, chicken and lots of pasta, so that we could carb-load for our first day. The surroundings were beautiful, and the most touching were the pictures of Michael, Marcia, Christa, the Angle Twins, and others affected by Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). That is what this is all about: these children and their families and all of the families around the world affected by NPC and are the motivation behind the work done by the Ara Parseghian Medial Research Foundation and by all scientists working on NPC.

We wish to thank Cole and Jeannie for sponsoring the event—we are grateful to you for your generosity and love for Notre Dame. We were presented with Arizona biking shirts (really cool) so we could ride with a little bit of Arizona with us all the way back to Notre Dame. Renate was presented with a necklace with Our Lady on one side and the Dome on the other, blessed by Father Jenkins. We received a bronze statue of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation—a symbol to present to Fr. Jenkins upon our return. (We hope all of you who are following this journey will be there to show your support when we present this beautiful statue in front of the Dome at 12:15p.m. on August 23rd). On behalf of the College of Science, we presented Cindy and Mike with a quilt made up of all the Notre Dame Science T-shirts. After the dinner, the guests went outside to check out the van and to sign it—all kinds of great quotes and nice notes wishing us well.

Thank you, Tucson, for your hospitality, kindness, generosity, and warm welcome and send-off. It was an event that we will never forget.

Go Irish.

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