6,000 “RIDE FOR LIFE” PINWHEELS MEET CHAMPION PATIENTS OF ALS: DISPLAY REPRESENTS LIVES LOST TO ALS ANNUALLY
Campus event part of “Ride for Life” from Manhattan to Montauk
STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 12, 2008 – Christopher Pendergast and several other wheelchair bound patients battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) rode through Stony Brook University on May 6 to raise awareness of ALS and funds for ALS research. Their “Ride for Life” was met with enthusiasm by Stony Brook University faculty, students, and friends around a display of 6,000 pinwheels. The pinwheels represented the 6,000 individuals who died from ALS last year in the United States.
The pinwheel display was conceived by Pendergast, founder of the Ride for Life. The display carries a two-fold message: It provides a powerful illustration of the many lives lost from an incurable disease, and it is symbolic that through the help of research, an answer to a cure is “blowin in the wind.”
During the Stony Brook University Pinwheel Tribute to ALS patients and their families, the ALS Association, Greater New York Chapter, presented a check to the Stony Brook University ALS Comprehensive Care Clinic on behalf of the Ride for Life. The $45,000 donation will help fund clinical programs and research at the clinic, which Pendergast helped found seven years ago. Stony Brook University Medical Center has the only comprehensive program for ALS patients on Long Island.
The 7-day ride began in Montauk Point on May 4 and ended in Manhattan on May 10. Pendergast started the ride in 1998 when he rode from Manhattan to Washington, D.C. The Ride has raised more than $3 million since its inception. Fifty percent
of the proceeds from the ride go toward research for a cure, including to the ALS Association, Greater NY Chapter. Forty percent of the proceeds go toward patient services. The Ride partners with the Chapter help fund the Stony Brook University ALS Comprehensive Care Clinic.
For more information about the Ride for Life organization, or to make a donation, please visit Rideforlife.com, or call Liisa Mackey or Arlene Dayboch at 631-444-1292.