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Touring Sufferlandria: Cycling, running for a cause

By Jenni Grubbs, www.fortmorgantimes.com

Valley View Villa doctor holds fundraiser

FORT MORGAN — — Understanding the level of suffering someone with a chronic or progressive disease experiences may be almost impossible for those who do not have the disease.

But learning about that suffering and how much a body can take is part of what the Tour of Sufferlandria is all about.

The tour is a nationwide fundraising event where people cycle and walk or run to the point of exhaustion until their bodies ache, all while watching training videos showing participants where their efforts metaphorically are taking them.

“Simply commit to following the route schedule on the days specified below and ride yourself into the ground each day from the (relative) comfort of your own home,” the tour’s website encouraged prospective participants.

The website also emphasized that the tour was not about how fast people got through the “course.”

“This is a challenge of Suffering. It’s about you, your ability to endure nine days of Suffering and the honor, glory and personal victory that comes with it,” the website stated.

The suffering has yet another point beside gaining empathy for those stricken by painful diseases and reaching for personal achievement, though.

The participants raise money to benefit charities that support research and care programs, such as the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease, which was where the tour website encouraged voluntary donations be made.

Valley View Villa recently hosted such a fundraiser, which was organized by Dr. Shaun Thompson, a family physician at the nursing home.

He said that the Aspen Rehab staff graciously let them use the equipment for the nine-day Tour of Sufferlandria from Jan. 25 to Feb. 2.

“While it’s critical to find a cure for Parkinson’s, we feel strongly that people living with this disease also need information and tools to live well today,” the Davis Phinney Foundation’s website states. “To support this mission, the Davis Phinney Foundation sponsors programs that provide the information, tools and inspiration that can be used to live well with Parkinson’s today.”

The foundation supports initiatives and programs that help patients, their families and caregivers across the country, as well as funding research “aimed at identifying factors, including exercise and other behaviors, that have a measurable, positive impact on quality of life.”

Thompson got two more of the Valley View staff and a couple people from the community to participate in Sufferfest, and they pedaled on the stationary cycles and walked or ran on the treadmills in Aspen Rehab.

“For nine-straight days, we worked and sweated and laughed and cried,” he said. “It was more challenging than I thought it was going to be.”

This was the first time Thompson participated in the gruelling fundraising campaign.

Joining Thompson were Valley View staff members Laurie Pate and Sylvia Young and avid cyclists Kyle Frick and Matt Richardson.

Each one of them donated money to benefit people living with Parkinson’s disease.

 

 

 

Read more at http://www.fortmorgantimes.com/fort-morgan-local-news/ci_25239768/touring-sufferlandria-cycling-running-cause

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