I am Racing to End lupus!
Join me and support the mission of the Lupus Foundation of America! My goal is to raise critical funds for the estimated 1.5 million people living with lupus in the United States. Your donation will help me reach my personal fundraising goal and support the Foundation's efforts to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus!
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that requires careful management from a rheumatologist, often with a cocktail of medications to control symptoms, limit organ damage, and allow a patient to lead a reasonably normal life. In my case as an endurance athlete with Lupus, managing inflammation is a particular challenge. In addition, some medications can lead to loss of bone density. A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with osteopenia as a side-effect of the medications. That became really apparent after an outdoor cycling fall a few months ago resulted in numerous broken bones, including several compression fractures in my thoracic spine that are largely irreversible. My doctors deem it unsafe for me to ride a bike outdoors fow now, due to the fall risk, at least until my bone density improves. As such, I've spent a lot of time indoors on a bike trainer recently. This has been frustrating for someone who considers triathlon their main sporting passion.
But hey, this is 2020 and thanks to COVID-19 there haven't been any triathlon races in real life anyway. So instead, I've been drawn to crazy, indoor bike challenges. This big idea came from a teammate, and on November 14, I'll be attempting a virtual Everesting ride, or vEveresting. This involves selecting a mountain (or in the case of vEveresting, a virtual mountain on the indoor cycling app Zwift), and riding up and down it repeatedly until the cumulative elevation gain reaches the height of Mt Everest. 8848 m, or 29029 ft. No time limit. It's a test of pure endurance, not a race. The only real rule is that you can't go to sleep in the middle of it. I've chosen to attempt this on Alpe du Zwift, Zwift's replica of the famous Alpe d'Huez in France. It's a climb of 3398 ft, at an average grade of 8.5%. I'll need to ride up and down it a little over 8.5 times, which if all goes well I estimate will take me between 14 and 18 hours. To date, I've never been on a bike for more than about 7 hours. I'll be starting at 6am US EST on November 14, and hopefully finishing some time that evening. This may be the hardest endurance feat I've attempted, which is saying something, considering I've completed several Ironman races.
I'd love it if you're able to make a small donation towards this crazy attempt, to support the fight to end Lupus. And whether or not you can donate, if you're a fellow cyclist who uses Zwift, I'd love it if you have the time to jump on Zwift and join me for a portion of the ride on November 14!
Did you know?
- Lupus is a complex disease that is hard to define. It strikes without warning, affects each person differently, and has no known causes or cure.
- While lupus mainly affects women between the ages of 15-44, men and children are not spared.
- Lupus symptoms can be severe and highly unpredictable and can damage any organ or tissue, from the skin or joints to the heart or kidneys.
- Only one drug has ever been developed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat lupus.
Let's end this cycle now! By making a donation today you are joining the fight against lupus!