After a little vacation from Ride Ataxia I have had time to reflect and begin to plan next year's event. No details yet but the ride will go on in late March 2009. But lets not get ahead of ourselves here. We are still celebrating our success from Ride Ataxia II. And a huge success it was!
Money kept rolling in until a couple weeks ago and our total now is $135,000! That is unbelievable! This huge number is due to the fact that we had so many enthusiastic team members who were fund raising machines. We had 42 registered participants and 50 cyclists the first day, everyone pitched in to make it happen.
The success story does not stop there. The National Ataxia Foundation and the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance are going to announce tomorrow (Monday, Cinco de Mayo) that they are going to contribute equal amounts to bring our total to $250,000 (one quarter of a million dollars)! This money will be used to fund two $125,000 research grants. The Request For Proposal (RFP) and Application for the grants will be available on either of their websites (ataxia.org, curefa.org) and I will link it here too.
The grants will target "translational research." Research that seeks to take a treatment from the laboratory to ataxia patients like Me, Sean, Spinner, Linda, Sam and Beth just to name a few. These grants are on the fast track to be collected, reviewed, awarded and distributed by August 2008. We are getting money to the researchers as fast as possible. More details will be available in the RFP.
This is absolutely incredible how it has all come together. Our team had a lot of fun raising a ton of valuable research money and we are grateful to be collaborating with two great organizations.