Trinity Western University president Bob Kuhn will be one of the cyclists riding in the 2016 Pacific Northwest Tour de Fox fundraiser for Parkinson’s research in Langley this Saturday.
The 64-year-old Kuhn, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006, at the age of 53, will ride 35 miles (about 56 km) in the Tour de Fox as the captain of Team TWU.
On his Tour de Fox page, Kuhn described some of the challenges he faces.
“Fighting bone-deep fatigue, trying to ignore the aching pain that develops in my shoulders and arms, and managing to eat with a fork despite its tendency to catapult its contents onto the table, floor, and the person seated next to me …” Kuhn wrote.
“Many of the 5,000,000 plus people who have Parkinson’s disease suffer a lot more than I do,” Kuhn went on to say.
“Many feel hopeless and incredibly discouraged. They need to have hope. So it is for those people that I want to do all I can to help find a cure. I’m riding in the Tour de Fox as part of Team TWU because it reminds me that there is still much that I can do. It reminds me to appreciate that I am alive.”
The Tour de Fox is a fundraiser of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Participants raise funds and choose either a 10-mile, 35-mile, or 70-mile bicycle loop, all of which begin and end on the TWU campus in Langley.
All funds will support programs to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Thus far, Team TWU, with 11 riders and counting, has raised over $7,000 — second place among the teams participating in the Pacific Northwest cycling event.
In 2014, Kuhn raised $24,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation through the 50 CC motorcycle ride by riding from California to Florida on his motorcycle in less than 50 hours.
About Parkinson’s disease (Courtesy Michael J. Fox Foundation)
1. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60.
2. While the average age at onset is 60, people have been diagnosed as young as 18.
3. The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, although research points to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
4. The single biggest risk factor for Parkinson’s disease is advancing age. Men have a somewhat higher risk than women.
5. Symptoms often, but not always, include tremors and shaking, fatigue, anxiety, depression and dexterity issues.
6. Parkinson’s symptoms are unique to each person: Some eventually have to use wheelchairs; others run marathons.