(Thursday, June 2) Gearing up for the Road to Discovery

Notre Dame Cycling Team

The Notre Dame Cycling Team raised money for NPC research at the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference in March.

The 2,300-mile Desert to Dome bike trip last summer from Tucson to Notre Dame was so inspiring that Renate and I decided to ride again. This time, we’re bringing awareness of Niemann-Pick disease, the devastating toll on families and the determination to defeat it through research,  to another corner of the country. We’ll be cycling from Boston to Dallas via New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond and Nashville. On this “Road to Discovery,” we’ll meet families, researchers, doctors and Notre Dame friends and develop a video to help spread the word about research to find a cure or treatment for NPC.

 Desert to Dome, dramatizing the strengthened partnership between Notre Dame and the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, was an amazing experience. Working with the Parseghians, who have transformed their personal loss into hope for thousands, is a great privilege. Cindy and Mike’s son, Ara Parseghian, who is a medical student in Boston, will join us this time for the early leg of the ride – the best sendoff I can imagine.

 The support of the Notre Dame family will also be with us as we take this trip. President John Jenkins and Provost Tom Burish, as well as my colleagues and staff and the alumni network, are always a great encouragement. We like to think the ride is another piece of the great Notre Dame commitment to healing and serving in the world, like the work of our students in Haiti and Uganda and at the Center for the Homeless and Hospice in South Bend and so many other places.

 I was so moved after last year’s ride when Notre Dame students Michael Dean and Joe Magro came to me to share their passion for this cause and their determination to raise awareness. Michael ran the Boston Marathon and raised money for the Foundation. Joe and the Notre Dame biking team dedicated their race to raising money for NPC.  What incredible students we have at Notre Dame! Their individual and collective efforts, their unity of purpose, their passion and compassion for humanity show the world the true fighting spirit of our University.

 This road goes through some bigger cities and some higher mountains than we encountered last year. We hope you’ll join us here, day by day, and spread the word so the cure will come soon to end the suffering of these precious children and their families.

 Thanks so much for being a part of this life-changing mission.

3 Comments so far

  1.    Nicolle Haley on June 10th, 2011

    Go Greg and Renate! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences along the way. Be safe and ride strong!

  2.    chuck ott on June 12th, 2011

    God be with you and Ara on this worthy journey.

  3.    Mike McFarland on June 20th, 2011

    Our only son suffers from a disease that has seemed to depend, for its cure, on advances in research. So my wife and I have an idea of what the Parseghian families feel. My best wishes. For a cure to illnesses such as NPC, never in history has the time looked riper!