From time to time we come across a story that reminds us why we devote our time and resources in this fight against disease; a story that reenergizes our focus to care Today and do something Today. Yesterday, I received such a story in my mailbox.

It came by way of the July issue of Bicycling magazine in the form of an article on Davis Phinney. Davis (46) is the winningest bicycle racer in America’s history. He also has Parkinson’s. To read about the grace and courage that him and his wife have and are displaying in this fight is both inspiring and sobering. Parkinson’s is not a disease with a cure nor is it a disease that takes its victims quickly.

My grandfather died a few weeks ago after a long battle with Parkinson’s. The last three years of his fight were almost unbearable to watch. His passing was a blessing in that it signalled the end of intense suffering. He was 81 and had lived a long, full and productive life.

Davis, however, is in the prime of his life. Scientists are perhaps ten years away from finding the right combination of drugs to slow down the disease enough to call it a draw. For Davis, barring some miracle, it will be a few years too late.

This story touches me because of my grandfather and because a good friend of mine knows Davis and from his stories, I feel like I know him too. The fact that Davis is just a few years older than me, with children like I have drives an intensity into the story.

This story may not touch your heart like it does mine, but somewhere there is a story like this in your life. You may already know this story. It may be a part of your past. Or, it may be the story you get hit with tomorrow, next month, next year or in five years. It may be a part of the natural aging process and can be somewhat accepted as a part of life, or it may strike in a tragically premature nature. I think of Sam Mills (professional football player in excellent health prior to cancer) who died of cancer just a few weeks ago at age 45, leaving small children behind. And now Davis, another professional athelete, in outstanding physical condition, fighting a fight with a disease that has all the trump cards–for now.

These are the stories that inspire. And these are the stories that remind me why we all crunch. For everyone out there crunching away, I feel blessed to know there is a community willing to take action in the fight. Keep the faith. Keep on crunching.  Posted by Hello

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