Each time I learn of individuals who are working to raise awareness and funding for Parkinson’s disease, my life is touched by the gift that they will contribute to ending Parkinson’s disease. There are a lot of us out there trying to make a difference to those living with Parkinson’s disease, whether it be in a small way or a big way. What grabs my heart strings most are the stories that I read about those who actually have Parkinson’s disease who are defying all physical odds to accomplish something great and challenging against the invisible thief that has taken over their brains and their mobility. Why does this grab my heart? Because every time I look into the eyes of my husband, I see a man who is defying the odds on a daily basis too, and I know that he also is in a race against time.
I have learned about another individual who continues to take control of his life and his mobility after being diognosed with Parkinson’s disease almost twenty years ago. Larry gives hope to people like my husband and others who have said, “we are not taking this lying down, come after me if you will but I will not surrender!” Larry Smith, a retired police captain comes from a small town in Vermillion, South Dakota. He is described as an avid cycalist and small town baker. Larry is putting a face on the day to day struggle for those living with Parkinson’ s disease. This heroic, real life story has a chance to be made into a film documentery to open the eyes and hearts of many to help support research that will eventually lead to a cure. The documentery Ride With Larry will be an inspirational film about a man cycling across the state of South Dakota in an effort to show the positive influence of staying physically fit, keeping a positive attitude, while proving that the best cure is living life to the fullest.
The Ride With Larry campaign follows Larry Smith and his nineteen-year battle with Parkinson’s. For each of the filmmakers involved, Parkinson’s disease is a personal story, a part of their lives as well. Larry and his wife Betty are the perfect example of two regular people facing enormous challenges and film makers want to show how they do it. Together with his family and community, Larry will ride across South Dakota pushing his limits and expanding the boundary of possibilities for those with Parkinson’s disease. Weaved amongst this narrative is an intimate portrait of the every day battle against Parkinson’s, the voice therapy, exercise routine, medications, treatments, and the community love that makes it all possible and worthwhile.
This project will not happen if the charity does not raise $50,000 towards helping to fund the documentary, and they only have 60 days to raise the funds. Donations must be made by February 2, 2011 and if the total $50,000 is not raised your donation will be refunded. Ride with Larry is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. Contributions on behalf of Ride with Larry are payable to IDA and are tax deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The documentary if funded will air towards the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2012!!
In May of 2011 Larry will ride across the state of South Dakota to raise awareness about the benefits of recumbent tricycles in combating and mitigating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
They need our help! Donate now and pledge your support to the Ride with Larry campaign to help make a difference in the lives of those fighting Parkinson’s disease.
Larry and his wife Betty exemplify the power of a positive attitude and the willingness to make sacrifices in the name of love. Their story is one of hope and courage, living life to its fullest even in the face of some of the most difficult circumstances and the debilitating aspects of Parkinson’s. Geoffrey and I can identify perfectly with Larry and Betty and there are a lot more Larry’s and Betty’s out there who will benefit from this project.
To borrow Larry’s line, “If you love life… you will fight for it” Parker’s Climb will help support Ride with Larry because we believe in raising awareness across every front in order to help fund the cure. (Geoffrey and I have already made a donation!!) Your donation to this charity will help open more eyes and more hearts for the cure. I hope you will find it in your heart to give as well. You can learn more and donate at Ride With Larry!