FAIRFIELD, Conn. – When Fairfield resident Eniko Mikle does long-distance bike rides, she finds that having a cause helps to keep her motivated.
When she learned about a young mother who had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, Mikle knew she had found her calling.
Mikle will participate in the three-day ALS TDI Tri-State Trek, biking 270 miles from Boston to Greenwich. The money raised by the participants goes to fund research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute.
ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, and eventually death. It takes away a person’s ability to walk, move, and talk, but keeps the mind intact”, the ALS Therapy Development Institute says.
“It’s a devastating disease with no cure,” Mikle said, adding that when she found out about the disease she couldn’t believe it.
When she was approached by a friend to participate in the trek and was told about Amy Truman, who was diagnosed in October 2013 at age 38, Mikle said, “How could you not do it?”
This isn’t the first time Mikle has done a bike ride that is this long. Several years ago she participated in a four-day trek from Boston to New York for an AIDS marathon to raise money for research.
“I like to pick big goals that seem to be unattainable by the human body,” she said. She has also done half Ironman competitions and other long bike marathons in recent years.
But for this ride, she’s not just raising $2,000 for the ALS foundation. She’s also helping to put together a fund that will go directly to benefit Truman's family.
Mikle, who works in finance, said she wanted to try something more and help the family directly. “It won’t be a charitable donation, but a donation to the family,” she said.
The bike team for the three-day trek, Team Truman, is also planning to make T-shirts. Profits from any sales will go to the family.