In September, APL will be participating for the second time in the California Coast Classic. He'll be riding his bike 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation. This year he will be joined on the ride by his brother, his brother's girlfriend (who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritis of the spine) and their cousin (who also rode two days of the ride last year). With OZL safely in the hands of his grandparents, I will also be volunteering as support staff along the ride this year.
Last year, we had a very compelling story to tell about the difficulties of living with RA while pregnant and on bed rest, my struggles after OZL's birth, and my decision to stop breastfeeding so I could go back on my RA meds just before the ride. Our friends, family members, and co-workers gave generously, and we were able to raise $2,450 more than the $3,000 minimum we committed to.
But while we are extremely appreciative of the generosity of our friends and family, we really don't want to depend on them to give to our cause all the time. Especially here in Colorado, where most of our friends are young parents with babies and no one has a lot of money. So this year we have been looking for a company who might be willing to sponsor all or part of Team Z, but although we have contacted more than two dozen companies we haven't had any luck yet.
And that's when the idea of "donate a date night" hit us. While some people run or race for the cure we've been babysitting for a cure! In exchange for a donation to the Arthritis Foundation we've been watching our friends' babies so that they can go out on a date. So far we've enabled our friends to go to a movie, an anniversary dinner, and rock climbing - all for arthritis! Everybody wins!
APL is still about $1,200 short of his minimum for this year, and other members of Team Z need to raise even more than that. So hopefully we'll get a few more takers on our "donate a date night" idea! In the meantime if you are interested in making even a small donation to Team Z we would very much appreciate it! Every little bit, no matter how small, helps us reach our goal and raise awareness and research funds for the 50 million adults and 300,000 children who must live every day with arthritis.