Friends, I hope this finds everyone in good spirits and health. Some of you may know that I have a little blog that I keep dedicated to the memory of my mother Karen Ellen Mastromonico called https://11315miles.wordpress.com. 11315miles started as a dedication blog in 2013 with the purpose of running or walking a mile for every day that my mother lived. Basically, a celebration of a short life through physical dedication of running with the pretense of giving back to others through donation events. I have completed 4409.66 miles so far with 6905.34 miles remaining in this journey. Over the years, I have participated in different running events raising money for MS, cancer and Easter Seals. A few years ago, I purchased “bad kitty” (aka my bike) to add to my mileage endeavors. I immediately fell in love with the sport of cycling. Maybe because I could gain more mileage quickly and it has less of an impact on my knee that I had surgery on three years ago – J. Who knows, but it is good for the body mentally and physically I encourage you to give it a go. Wait! Don’t scroll on by! That dancing kitty will still be there… Well, this year I am approaching the big 5-0 and I don’t mean the friendly perp walk kind either! I will run the 2017 Dublin Marathon this October not only to celebrate life but give back.
I know everyone is aware of the plight of a lot of our veterans and first responders of all services. There is a constant bombardment to give, care, support and give some more. Most of you have either served in some capacity or know someone who has served our great nation. As an Army veteran, I have been in search of a charity that shares my joy of cycling and helps veterans gain mobility physically and mentally after a military service trauma, specifically through adaptive cycling. Adaptive cycles are bikes that have been changed to fit the disability of the rider, i.e. someone who doesn’t have the use of one’s legs, arms or mental impairment, etc. There are many good charities available to volunteer or donate too, but I have landed on one that particularly spoke to me and would like to share with you. The name of the charity is Project Hero Ride 2 Recovery. From the Project Hero website:
“From building and donating adaptive bikes and producing cycling events throughout the nation to supporting community-based rehabilitation and recovery programs and important medical and clinical research, Project Hero is raising awareness of the national PTSD mental health crisis and making a difference in the lives of thousands of Veterans and First Responders, as well as their families and communities.
Our programs have helped more than 10,000 Veterans and First Responders through cycling-based programs and other events since 2008. Project Hero participants record elimination of and decreases in use of prescription drugs of as much as 65 percent, greater injury recovery rates, improved sleep habits and overall improvement in daily life functions.
Project Hero has built more than 200 adaptive bikes for injured Veterans, donated more than 2,500 bikes to Veterans and logged more than 30,000 bicycling miles in 30 states and 6 countries to bring hope, recovery and resilience in support of America’s Healing Heroes.”
Supporting the military veteran by giving the gift of mobility is very important to me. I have been around the military in some capacity for a very long time and you will find no better people to align yourself. We are willing to give all that we have in some cases. Over the years I have concluded that ALL of us come back changed in some capacity. There is no way that you can deploy to a war-torn country and not come back affected by the sites, smells and experiences. It changes the way you view life and will make the most selfish of people grateful for what they have. Some people come back with a lot more problems than others, this is true.
So, what’s the catch? There’s always a catch isn’t there?
If you have the time and a dime, please donate $26.2 (no more no less) to Project Hero Ride 2 Recovery for my running event that will take place on 29 October in Dublin, Ireland. A couple of ways to make a general donation (and it’s tax deductible!):
Visit Project Hero site and select the donate button:
Or visit my blog. Also, feel free to post on your Facebook page. Thanks, and Happy Miles to You!!