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About Mark Johansen
Hello from Mark Johansen. Retirement at the end of February 2011 after 31 years of sales in the foodservice industry opens a world of possibilities. About ten years ago I started riding a bicycle after seeing a co-worker go through heart by-pass surgery. It seemed a good way to keep my heart in good condition and I began to dream of riding a bike across the country some day. After a couple years on a cheap bike a friend built a Surly Longhaul Trucker for me; a “real” road bike that would be a good choice for a long ride.
This year my wife Alice has had breast cancer. As we have gone through the process of surgery and chemotherapy together I expected I would need to give up the dream of riding my bike across the country for her sake. Some years ago friends introduced me to the local “MS150” bike tour and the cause of riding to raise funds to end Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and I have ridden most years since 2002. When I saw the website “Bike the US for MS” describing a cross county ride to help end MS, my dream was rekindled and my dear wife wholeheartedly said “Go for it”. In fact she even thought about driving water to us in the Nevada desert if she was up to it. Now the dream has meaning way outside “self”.
Riding with a group and riding for a cure to MS, and riding for all those folks I have met through the MS150 rides, makes this a dream with a cause. MS does not yet have a cure, and little is known about how and why it spreads. It strikes the nervous system and leaves many on crutches or in a wheel chair. Our ride will raise funds that will go to help support the James Q Miller MS research clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia. They have been working toward a cure and helping people with MS since 2000. We will visit the clinic early in our tour and also help some people along the way by building wheel chair ramps on our time off from riding. Having a cause is good medicine for the heart.
About the same time I got my bike I met a wonderful Indian woman and her husband in South India who had founded a home for children who were orphaned from victims of AIDS. Alice and I have had the joy of partnering with them and advocating for the children. We have been able to help them build a home for girls and one for boys and to start a school. Now there are 70 children who have a home and caring environment and a school. The children have become like grandchildren to us as we have visited often. Helping their vision to become a reality has given meaning to words uttered 2000 years ago; “…as you do so for one of the least of these my children, you do it unto me” (Jesus). Reaching out to others, giving to others, riding for others seems to fit together and make the life we live here on earth purposeful. Our involvement half way around the world has reminded us to consider opportunities to meet needs near to home as well. MS is one of those needs.
Rather than buying a rocking chair upon retirement I’m tuning up my 8 year old bike and my 65 year old legs and heart to ride in a cause with “heart”.
Please help us find a cure for MS by becoming a sponsor for our ride. My goal is to raise at least $1 per mile so a donation of $4O would be one cent per mile and $200 would be five cents a mile. Of course we welcome any size donation. Bike the US for MS is a registered charitable organization so your gift is tax deductible. We are also self funding all our personal expenses on the ride so your donation to the MS cause is maximized.
Follow me on Chet Seapy website/blog http://chetseapy.wordpress.com as we are doing a blog together
Mark Johansen's Fundraising
|Tom & Jan Johansen||$1000.00|
|Mark & Alice Johansen||$550.00|
|District G - Sysco Va||$370.00|
|Jean Pierre Galliani||$250.00|
|Miller's Downtown - Charlottesville||$200.00|
|Wayside Takeout & Catering||$200.00|
|David R Kraft||$160.00|
|Jeff & Carla Moore||$100.00|
|Little John's NY Deli||$100.00|
|Mark & Christine King||$100.00|
|Roy & Michelle Whitlock||$100.00|
|Chap's Ice Cream||$75.00|
|Blue Ridge Country Store||$50.00|
|Clark & Patsy Nesbit||$50.00|
|Jo Ann Moore||$50.00|
|Paula & Dave Holcomb||$50.00|
|Clifton Danny Rivers||$45.00|
|First Run Catering||$40.00|
|Hampton Inn of Charlottesville||$40.00|
|Monticello High School Child Nutrition||$40.00|
|The Tavern Restaurant||$40.00|
|Jean Pierre Galliani||$25.00|
|Kristan E Livingston||$25.00|
|Peyton & Diana Adams||$20.00|