The Ride of Our Lives

(Kent and Sue enjoying the beautiful California coastline)

(Yeah! 525 miles later, we cross the finish line in Santa Monica)

Sue and I would like to thank our friends and patients who helped us experience one of the most fulfilling weeks of our life. We were able to raise over $6,000 for the Arthritis Foundation and participate in a bicycle ride from San Francisco to Santa Monica along the coast.

Each day we would ride from 50 to 90 miles along the California Coast. The ride was great, and the scenery was nothing short of amazing. Every day was different and every day was spectacular! Each night we would hear from someone who’s life has been affected by Arthritis, (mostly Juvenile type). Many of them were teenagers like Karly, who has suffered since she was ten years old. She has had both hips replaced and doesn’t know what it’s like to walk without pain, let alone dance and run like most kids. The kids particularly enjoyed going to a camp specifically designed for those with Arthritis. It is an opportunity for them to associate with other kids who share this condition in common, and they are able to experience things they have never done before.

One of the biggest challenges these kids face is trying to find the correct cocktail of drugs that works for them and even then, it requires constant adjustment to remain effective. If given too much they suffer from devastating side effects, if too little, inflammation is not controlled and permanent damage is done.

There was a couple there that were celebrating their anniversary on this ride. They have organized a team called “Also Touch” and have participated every year for a number of years. Their daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis when she was ten years old. At age twelve, she suffered severe complications and her condition deteriorated. She sounded like a remarkable young lady who, even though she was in constant pain, worried more about other kids around her than she did about herself. Each night she would write in her journal the names of people she was praying for. She would mention her family and other kids in the hospital with her. She was particularly concerned about a younger girl in the bed next to her who was having a hard time. One night she wrote “also touch” but evidently she became too weak to write anymore. That night she passed away in her sleep. Her last thoughts were for someone else. The “Also Touch” team has raised over $200,000.

The ride was everything we had hoped for. The California coast is incredible and there is nothing like seeing it from a bike. I discovered a few things during this journey- namely, even though LA is below San Francisco on the map, it is NOT downhill the whole way. Also, I don’t think there is a flat spot on the whole coast! It seemed like we were always either going up or going down. We were very happy we had trained for this ride. I never thought I would be grateful for the Twin Climbs on Hwy 248 between Park City and Kamas, but they certainly prepared us to face everything we encountered on our ride.

Thank you again to all of those that made this Incredible journey possible.

– Kent and Sue Johnson

Posted in: Dental News

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