ride Philly Collage copyOn Sunday, October 14th, 2018, I had the pleasure of participating in the 10th Annual rideATAXIA Philly. I have been riding, raising funds and enjoying the event for the past few years now. This year was extra special to me because this October marked the 5th year since my diagnosis with FA. So when registration came out, I jumped at the opportunity to build a team again and get ready for the ride!

When it was time to get ready to go to the ride, I put on my rider jersey, my gear and ventured over to Montgomery County Community College with around 600 other riders. I participated in the 4-mile ride, which started at 10am. Alongside me, while I rode this year were my parents. I was also happy to have my grandma in attendance to support the FA community and me. My team, Team Head, was able to raise close to $3,000 this year and hope to raise that next year too.

After we got back from the ride, we had lunch which was catered by Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, who did an amazing job once again. Once we got our bellies full, we walked around to the different tables set up, talked to people, met new faces, took photos at the photo booth, talked to the Reata Pharmaceuticals table and much more. Soon after we did that, Kyle announced that rideATAXIA Philly raised over $300,000 (it has grown to over $340,000 since the ride!) for FARA!

The thing I love about riding in rideATAXIA Philly is that it challenges you to be the best version of yourself, no matter if you do the 50, 25, 8 or 4-mile rides. I have set a goal/challenge for myself next year to ride the 8-mile course! The other awesome part about this event is that no matter who you are, you are able to watch and ride alongside everyone and I mean everyone, doctors, researchers, parents, siblings, spouses, and friends.

So in the end, I personally have to say that this year's ride was a success! I think that everyone would agree with me and express how grateful we are to all of the sponsors, donors, volunteers, FARA, rideATAXIA and Kyle for all their continuous work to help us fight FA and hopefully, one day soon find a CURE! If I have any advice for future riders, it is to never tell yourself you can't do something. Try it and give it a chance!

HOPE to see you next year!

Dillon Head FARA Ambassador