Day 9: Holiday City, OH, to Notre Dame!

Today was a terrific day for riding and reaching home for a visit. Peter, a math professor from Notre Dame, and Tom, a friend from Knollwood Country Club, joined us on the sunny, breezy ride from northwestern Ohio.

When we reached Granger, we stopped off at Coach Ara Parseghian’s house, so he could sign the van.

Coach joined us tonight for a well-attended mass and reception at the Jordan Hall of Science, where he gave another inspiring talk about how the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation got started. It was within about a week after Mike and Cindy told him that three of the grandchildren had been diagnosed with the fatal, mysterious Niemann-Pick Type C disease. No matter how many times I hear that story, it’s always inspiring, and I love the way Coach Ara describes the progress: we were on our own 1-yard-line. We’ve gone so far down the field that we’re already extending the lives of children and making other advances, and we need to take it over that goal line. He was very generous when he talked about my more recent arrival on the team and how he’s confident that we can find the solution. My great-uncle played football for Knute Rockne, and I like to think that I’m on Coach Ara’s team to win this championship. It meant so much when he talked about what I can do to help as a scientist, a fundraiser and a bike rider.

This day was also dedicated to Audrey Gogola, the daughter of Tracy Vargo-Gogola, an adjunct assistant professor in Biological Sciences who does breast cancer research in the Harper Cancer Research Institute, and her husband Mike. Audrey died recently at age 3 from complications related to a genetic illness. The Audrey Gogola Scholarship Fund has been established in her memory to help worthy medical students.

At the reception, our partner in the ride, Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, announced some new ways to help raise money for research. We also honored Patrick, Peter and Nick, the guys from Destination Cycling who do the behind-the-scenes work that keeps us going down the road. We’ll head out to Chicago on Wednesday with a fresh boost of energy from our time on campus.

2 Comments so far

  1.    John Casko on May 31st, 2012

    Awesome! Keep up the great effort Dean Crawford and team and we will see you on Saturday!

  2.    Nicolle Haley on June 1st, 2012

    What a fun evening! It was great to see you, Peter, Patrick and Nick back on campus again. I hope the Irish spirit will continue to inspire you for the rest of your ride!