Big Ride Pacific Coast 2009 - Washington(490) - Pledge
Big Ride Pacific Coast 2009
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Welcome to the fundraising page of Stephanie Grassia
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Big Ride Pacific Coast: With Fond Memories of Carmelo Grassia
On September 13, 2008, I will undertake the biggest physical challenge I've ever faced in my life: The Big Ride Pacific Coast. The Big Ride is a fund-raising bicycle ride starting in Seattle and arriving in San Francisco 15 days later. With your help, my fellow bikers and I will pedal 960 miles in 15 days, averaging more than 77 miles per day, with about 45,000' of hill climbing (!!!). I am currently training for the ride and hope that I have what it takes come September. My "personal coach," Steve (my husband), is cracking the whip to make sure I stay focused on my training. Steve is a much better rider than me and has helped me improve my skills greatly.

The Big Ride will be a special event for me. I will be riding in memory of my father-in-law, Carmelo ("Mel") Grassia, who died on March 7, 2007 from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a dreadful, debilitating lung disease that slowly and painfully took his life. There is no known cure for pulmonary fibrosis. My father-in-law was a dear man who always supported me like I was his own child, and I am honored to remember him during the preparation for and during the Big Ride. My favorite things about Dad were his laugh and his insistence on trying to learn the inner workings of the computer (this is what happens when you spend your life as an electrical engineer and have the compulsion to know what makes things tick). It was never good enough to just operate the computer; he was constantly trying to figure out how to reprogram it!

I will also remember the times that we sat around the dinner table, he and Mom laughing at my ridiculous capers as a child (and as an adult!). Those of you who knew him know exactly what I'm talking about. He always thought we were crazy to do so much bicycle riding! I miss him.

I have included a picture of Dad and my cat, Nutmeg, on my personal webpage. A funny anecdote: Dad used to always emphatically claim that he "didn't like cats!" but a picture is worth a thousand words (I also caught him once using a piece of string to amuse the cat when he thought no one was looking). This is my favorite picture of Dad. When the going gets tough on the Ride, I will just think of Dad and this picture, and I know it will help get me through.

Each Big Rider will raise a minimum of $2,500 for the vital programs and research of the American Lung Association® of Washington. With your generous support this year's Ride will raise $125,000 to:

* Help kids with Asthma live full and productive lives.
* Stem the tide of Big Tobacco money that is pushing young people to start a lifelong habit that kills 8200 Washingtonians every year.
* Fund research to find cures for Pulmonary Fibrosis, Lung Cancer, Emphysema, Tuberculosis, and lung disease of all kinds.
* Advocate for clean air in our beautiful state.

You will notice that I have a pretty ambitious fundraising goal. Feel free to donate whatever you feel comfortable donating--every $1 helps get me closer to my goal!

Copy this link to your browser to view my personal web page, which I will try to keep updated with the latest.

I hope you'll join me in my big adventure and help win the battle against lung disease!

Stephanie Grassia
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