July 4 – Day 22: Pine Bluff to Camden, Arkansas: Happy Fourth of July!

No fireworks for us on the road today, which is just fine as we make steady progress toward our goal. It was really warm, with a bright, sunny start to the ride, and temperatures reached into the 90s, but the ground was level, and the thunderstorms held off until we had arrived in Camden – so, a very pleasant day overall! We passed through Kingsland, Arkansas, which was home to Johnny Cash.

Happy Fourth of July from Arkansas!

Nothing but blue skies

In the hometown of Johnny Cash

Last night, Michaela, our older daughter came in to finish up the week with us. We are really happy to have both Michaela and Ally on the team.

Michaela, Renate, Ally, and Greg

With time for reflection during the easy ride today, I was reminded of how lucky we are to have such wonderful students at Notre Dame: students in Professor Michelle Whaley’s course working on an NPC project mentored by Professor Kevin Vaughan, students working on clinical scores in Professor Kasturi Haldar’s course, and graduate students working on NPC in a number of laboratories for their Ph.D. theses.

Biking today reminded me of two students who also organized and performed in some physically intense fundraisers this year for NPC – Michael Dean and Joe Magro. Joe, a member of the Notre Dame Cycling Team, arranged for the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference race in downtown South Bend to benefit the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. Joe asked me to say a few words about NPC at the beginning of the race in March, which I gladly did.

Greg kicks off the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference Race

Michael, who qualified for the Boston Marathon, dedicated his race to NPC. The picture of Michael below came to my mind today, since it’s Independence Day.

Michael Dean finishes the Boston Marathon

We have outstanding students at Notre Dame. From the classroom to the laboratory, they’re working to understand NPC in order to provide better health care and treatment for NPC children. Even those who do not have a direct scientific connection have dedicated their efforts, through athletic feats, to the cause. Out here on the Road to Discovery, we’re proud to be doing our part to join them in that life-changing fight.

Happy Fourth of July!

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