Victory Crew®

"How can I help?" Be part of the Victory Crew grassroots fundraising program, and make a difference in the lives of people living with this disease.

Stories from the Crew

Support Us

Knowledge is Power

Name: Kathleen
Location: Boulder, CO

What I’m Doing (or what I did) as a Part of the Victory Crew: My husband, Kevin and Davis were high school classmates. This will be our 8th year riding the Copper Triangle to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation. Over the years, Rick, Tom (also classmates), Kevin and I have wanted to do more. So this year, the Copper Triangle will be Day 14 of the Friends for Phinney Coast to Coast ride across America. We are challenging ourselves in order to help others successfully meet their challenges. We hope many of the Copper Triangle riders will choose to join us for Day 15 as we ride from Copper to Boulder. Come on!

Why I’m Part of the Victory Crew: As a home care speech-language pathologist, I think I can best answer this question by sharing the story of one of my patients.

kathleen-emilioI would like to introduce you to Emilio. He is 78 years old and has been living with Parkinson’s for nearly 30 years.  As Emilio says, “I was late to bicycle racing,” finding it to be his passion in his 30’s. He loves to talk cycling and hear about what’s new in the field. Emilio epitomizes the motto “living well today with Parkinson’s.” He and his amazing care partner, Linda, seek out resources and knowledge in order to problem-solve the daily challenges. Deep brain stimulation, Botox for eye spasms, ankle-foot orthotic for foot stabilization, and participating in the Care Link Adult Day Program are just a few examples. Yet, they never fail to celebrate the moments of greatness in day to day life.

On the day of my evaluation, I showed Emilio the Davis Phinney Foundation’s Every Victory Counts® book. I could hardly direct him away from it in order to do my assessment. He commented, “I know Parkinson’s because I have it, but when other people ask me about Parkinson’s, I don’t really know how to explain it to them. This book is GREAT!”

Knowledge is power, and I have yet to meet a person living with Parkinson’s that is not eager to learn ways to enhance their life. The Davis Phinney Foundation provides that power directly to the individual. Now that is GREAT!

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Victory Crew: I attended The Victory Summit® symposium. I saw how the experience empowered people with Parkinson’s and their care partners. It was electrifying!  Every person impacted by Parkinson’s deserves to possess the tools to be able to live their best life.  You can help make that happen. Join us!

Doctor Inspired by Davis, Others Finds His Moment of Victory on a Bike

Name: Jon
Location: Chevy Chase, MD

What I’m Doing (or what I did) as a Part of the Victory Crew:  I had always dabbled on my mountain bike but was diagnosed with  young onset Parkinson’s disease at age 38.  Within five years, I had exhausted the usefulness of the medications and in April of 2008 I received a deep brain stimulator (DBS).  I was recovering at home six weeks later and saw a televised story on Davis and his own recent DBS placement. Davis discussed the benefits of exercise, and specifically, biking so I got of the couch, went to the store and bought a road bike. I made the decision to ride 1,000 miles over the next nine months, and to keep myself honest, I decided to do it for the benefit of the Davis Phinney Foundation. I joined the Victory Crew and sent emails to everyone I knew, asking to be sponsored. I also put a message on Facebook. Over the next nine months I rode more than 3,000 miles!  I ride with a group of cyclists called the Spartans. Together we have ridden four 150-mile 2-day rides and two centuries.

Why I’m Part of the Victory Crew:  Like Davis Phinney, Ihave been blessed by the minds and hands of neurologists and neurosurgeons, and because of their treatment and my deep brain stimulator, I can bike and ski and work and live a normal life. I move now for those who have trouble moving and also to improve my own health through biking via the exercise. I am grateful for the support of all the people who are part of my life and lend financial support for my rides.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Victory Crew:  It is fantastic to be able to bike and to benefit people suffering with Parkinson’s, while at the same time improving your own health!  The Foundation is very inspiring with its “celebrate  your daily moments of victory” message, and the Victory Crew T-shirts are very cool, too!

POPs Ride 2011 Highlights

Doug’s Wild Ride Covers 900 Miles of America’s Most Pristine Land

Name: Doug
Planet Earth. Specifically, Cleveland, OH.

What I’m Doing (or what I did) as a Part of the Victory Crew: I’m doing a 900-mile solo bike ride from Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage, Alaska. I’m riding the “Haul road” a gravel road ripe with bears, wolves, moose, and caribou. I’m camping and hoping to find water along the route. I am generating newspaper articles, radio interviews, and hopefully, donations for the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Check out my blog for the latest about where I am and what I’m up to:

Why I’m Part of the Victory Crew: I want to do everything I can to defeat this disease. Being part of the Victory Crew and working with others dovetails nicely with that philosophy.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Victory Crew: In my opinion, the Davis Phinney Foundation is the finest organization you can get involved with to help find a cure/treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Work hard, take chances, and together we will beat this thing.

One Good Ride Deserves Another

Name:  John
Lake Mary, Florida

What I’m Doing (or what I did) as a Part of the Crew: I became inspired by Larry Smith, a 20-year Parkinson’s patient, who was planning to ride 300 miles across his home state of South Dakota. I traveled from my home near Orlando, FL and had the honor of crossing the finish line with Larry on June 25, 2011. It was especially meaningful to have my son, Brian, riding at my side. He had made the trip from his home in Los Angeles.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year and half ago and only took up cycling in November, 2010. I enrolled in a wonderful bike handling class called Cycling Savvy, a traffic cycling curriculum from the Florida Bicycle Association. Since taking that class, I have logged close to 700 miles. While that’s a drop in the bucket for some cyclists, it’s been quite an achievement for a 59-year old, “pleasingly plump,” previously sedentary person. I’ve learned of the many benefits of exercise – particularly cycling – for dealing with my PD symptoms.

As the “Ride With Larry” approached, a friend asked about donating to the cause. I discovered the opportunity to set up a donation page through the Davis Phinney Foundation website. I sent e-mails to about 150 family and friends, many of whom donated generously. In addition, I solicited the help of a friend who truly understands the power of social media and she agreed to Tweet the request out to her 30,000 followers. Additional donations began pouring in from complete strangers – many noting that they had relatives with PD and were honored to have a program to support. In just five days, I received $3,741 in contributions. 100% of those funds will be used to support the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Why I’m Part of the Crew: Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s was scary. I knew nothing about it and didn’t know of anyone in my family who had ever had it to learn from. I’d taken up cycling, figuring that it couldn’t hurt to become more fit. I began reading about some of the almost miraculous benefits that people were getting from cycling and the great research being conducted by Dr. Jay Alberts at the Cleveland Clinic [a Davis Phinney Foundation grant recipient]. Then I discovered a hero – Larry Smith. If he could take on such a monumental challenge like a 300-mile ride, I could certainly make an effort as well. I captured my memories of the “Ride With Larry” in the following article –

I learned about the Davis Phinney Foundation because they co-sponsored “Ride With Larry.” Their mission made sense to me: supporting research for a cure, along with encouraging people with PD to live better today. Optimism and a positive attitude are critical, hope for a cure is noble, but doing something each and every day to make the most of what we CAN do may be the key. Along the way – even at this early stage – I have discovered that I am part of what Davis calls a “tribe”. We’re a group that must embrace and support each other and their families.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Victory Crew: By getting involved, you will be able to improve that person’s quality of life and help fund extremely important research. The point is – don’t hesitate. The ultimate thrill is to personally take part in a Victory Crew ride. You don’t have to be a seasoned racer. Any level can participate. Your supporters will applaud your efforts. You’ll feel good about yourself. Plus, you’ll have fun in the process. Whether it’s riding or fundraising, the following expression sums it up, “DLF > DNF > DNS – Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish which greatly trumps Did Not Start.” Every victory counts. Take action now. You’ll be glad that you did.

Avid Cyclist Finds Strong Fundraising Partner in Ramapo Rally

Name: Steve
Annandale, New Jersey

What I’m Doing as a Part of the Crew: I created a Victory Crew fundraising event in association with the Ramapo Rally, a well-established, organized bike ride in northern New Jersey. Read  Steve’s inspiring Ride the Rockies 2012 story here.

Why I’m Part of the Crew: In 2009 and 2010, I participated with my daughter in the Copper Triangle Alpine Cycling Classic to raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation. The sincere, collective desire to help the Foundation was very evident throughout the ride and post-ride festivities. As I flew home from Colorado, I thought to myself that I should try create an epic cycling event in the NYC Metro area to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation and the Parkinson’s Disease community. Fortunately for me, the wonderful folks at the Ramapo Rally – one of the best organized rides in the area – made it easy for me by allowing us to partner with them. The Victory Crew provides me with a platform on which to gather all my cycling friends and invite them to join me in raising funds for the Davis Phinney Foundation, while also increasing East Coast awareness of the great work that the Foundation does.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with Victory Crew: The best answer to this question is to read the response I received from a rider that recently joined my team for the Ramapo Rally: “I’ve never ridden or run for a charity before, so this is a new experience for me. Literally 10 seconds after I sent out a message on Facebook about my ride, I had somebody make a donation whose mother has PD. It literally brought tears to my eyes to see the support come in immediately, and the appreciation from the woman that donated, thanking me for riding and raising money.”

You don’t realize how passionately people want to help until you ask. This is why I do it and why my fellow team members have joined the Victory Crew benefiting the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Road 2 Victory Starts Close to Home

Name: Marcus
Boulder, CO

What I’m Doing as a Part of the Crew: Five years ago, I started the Road 2 Victory Bicycle Classic, a ride that takes place each Spring in Boulder, Colorado.

I was 1,000 miles away when my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and I knew I had to do something. Where I live in Boulder, there is a huge cycling presence (Davis and Connie live here!), and I have a friend who puts on cycling events and who had all the equipment, so it all came together in a way that felt cosmic.

As I do this year after year, I try to maintain the heart and soul and never lose sight of why I’m doing this: to spread the word about Parkinson’s and to support the great work the Davis Phinney Foundation is doing.

Why I’m Part of the Crew: For my Father and all who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and need hope.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with Victory Crew: Don’t ever question your belief in yourself that you can do this. It’s not always, “Oh that’s just someone else, I couldn’t do something like that.” If you believe you can, you absolutely can!

Copper Ride makes for Golden Opportunity

Name: Wendy
Rollinsville, CO

What I’m Doing as Part of the Victory Crew: Last year, we created “Wendy’s Crew”

and raised the $10,000 for the Davis Phinney Foundation with the help of family and friends. Wendy’s Crew completed the 80 miles of the Copper Triangle. We are signed up and ready to go again this year. We won’t miss it.

Why I’m Part of the Crew: I met Davis Phinney at The Victory Summit® symposium.  I waited for him in lobby and will never forget the words of encouragement he gave me that day. I walked out feeling hopeful that it would be possible live well with Parkinson’s after all. My son Josh, who is an outdoor enthusiast, helped me think “exercise” instead of “disease.” I am so thankful to have my copy of the Every Victory Counts™ manualand to know I have a whole Foundation behind me!

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with Victory Crew: Last year Davis asked me why I was not riding in the Copper Triangle. I said,  “Because I have an electric bike, and I thought it would not be allowed.” He said, “Are you kidding? I have one too. Just bring your bike and ride a section with us next year.” So, if in 2011 you see an upright gal on a big Hebb bike who smiles as she passes you on an ascent, that would be me.

Click here to read the rest of Wendy’s Parkinson’s story in her own words.

Papa Inspires Victory Crew Mentor

Name: Kari Jensen
Location: Arvada, CO

What I’m Doing (or what I did) as a Part of the Crew: I’ve ridden the Copper Triangle and am now a fundraising mentor for the Victory Crew.

Why I’m Part of the Crew: I am part of the crew because my beloved “Papa” has been fighting Parkinson’s for over 10 years. Being an avid cyclist and looking for a way to support PD research, I was thrilled to find a match made in Heaven between the Copper Triangle and the Davis Phinney Foundation! Now I can ride my favorite bike event of the year while raising funds for my favorite non-profit!

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Foundation and specifically Victory Crew: I have had the pleasure of working with the Davis Phinney Foundation for four years. This is a Foundation near and dear to my heart. The DPF is not only raising funds for a cure for PD, but they are also dedicated to helping those afflicted with PD live well today. If you are scared of fundraising, just get over yourself and ask! 🙂 The worst that can happen is that someone may tell you “no.” You will get donations from the most unlikely of sources!