June 21 – Day 9: Richmond to Lynchburg (Through Appomattox): Not Retreating

Today we followed the route of “Lee’s Retreat” from Richmond into Appomattox Court House. We packed a good amount of Civil War history into our day. Appomattox Court House is actually the name of the town, which used to be a county seat. We were able to go into the McClean house where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant. It was fascinating to walk around there, and see a snapshot of how things were in 1865. Afterwards, on the road, we encountered some nice rolling hills, so our legs got a good workout. At the end of the day, the mountains came into view. I am happy they are still two days away.

Appomattox Courthouse, Where General Lee Signed the Surrender in 1865

This evening we met with Dwayne, who told his about his 15-year-old son Raiden with NPC. Raiden is a real jokester with a vibrant personality; his numerous friends care for him a great deal and often come by the house. They seem to understand better what he goes through than some adults. Until he was 10 years old, Raiden played Little League. He always wanted to be a pitcher, and at one of his games, the umpire gave him that opportunity by moving the mound closer to home plate. He was able to get the count to full, and the final pitch was “Strike Three!” Dwayne said that Raiden let out a big “Yeah!” One of his favorite things to do is go watch the Mariners, the local minor league team Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he was able to have a very memorable trip to watch the Dallas Cowboys play. We also heard he is a big-time wrestling fan.

Dwayne, Greg, and Renate in front of the Fishing for Charities Pick-up Truck

We have heard lots of stories of how families organize fundraisers for Niemann-Pick. Dwayne has a unique approach to fundraising. He started Fishing for Charities, a bass fishing tournament trail in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Every competition on the trail supports a different charity, with at least one competition for Niemann-Pick every year. To be able to participate in the end-of-the-year tournament, you must either enter at least two earlier competitions or donate directly to NPC research. This year’s final tournament will be November 5 and 6 in South Holston on the Tennessee-Virginia border. Dwayne hopes that this bass fishing tournament trail continues to grow and that others will start such events in their parts of the country, so all may contribute to NPC. Thank you, Dwayne and Raiden, for all your hard work raising money and awareness for NPC. Every day, we are in awe of the collective work of parents, families and communities raising money for research in search for a cure or therapy.

3 Comments so far

  1.    Joslyn Shehab '91 on June 22nd, 2011

    Following your blog is so inspirational. I am so excited that you get to meet all the nice people across our beautiful country.

    Reading others’ comments also makes me feel so blessed with my three healthy children. Thank you for working so hard to bring awareness about NPC to so many people.

    Joslyn Shehab, M.D. (ND class of 1991)
    Ann Arbor, MI

  2.    David on December 9th, 2011

    I would love to get your route from Richmond to Lynchburg. I’m planning a week long circuit tour in the spring. We’ll use part of the transamerica, but I plan to drop off the parkway into Lynchburg and then get back to the Richmond area which is where I think we will start. We might also do it in the reverse direction. In any case, some info on your route would be great.

    Great Blog by the way.

    David, Greensboro, NC