Local women, Marie Nemec & Charlotte Reicks, embark on annual cross-country bike ride for Huntington’s Disease | PostIndependent.com

Local women, Marie Nemec & Charlotte Reicks, embark on annual cross-country bike ride for Huntington’s Disease

Sharon Sullivan

Marie Nemec, 69, and Charlotte Reicks, 78, are leaving Grand Junction June 1 for another cross-country bicycle ride to raise awareness of Huntington’s Disease and money for research toward a cure and for family services. It will be Reick’s 14th ride, and Nemec’s 15th — Nemec will primarily drive the SAG van this trip.

Six others will be joining the women this year, including Heather Chynoweth of Fruita and her sister, Hope Chynoweth of Grand Junction.

A “Bon Voyage” send-off breakfast will take place Saturday morning from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in the north pavilion at Sherwood Park. Breakfast, including homemade burritos, will be provided with donations from Home Style Bakery, City Market and Safeway.

This year’s “Pedal the Gulf for HD” ride will start in Galveston, Texas, and end in Jacksonville, Fla., where the riders plan to attend the 28th annual Huntington’s Disease Society of America convention.

In 1967, Marjorie Guthrie, widow of the legendary folksinger Woody Guthrie (and mother of Arlo), founded the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, which evolved into the HD Society of America.

Woody Guthrie died from the devastating neurological disease in 1967.

Children of a Huntington’s Disease parent have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene that causes brain cell degeneration, resulting in the loss of ability to walk, think, talk, reason and swallow.

About one in 10,000 Americans have the disease, according to the HD Society of America. A support group for those affected by the disease meets in Grand Junction, the last Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church, 522 White Ave.

People may follow the ride online by e-mailing Nemec’s husband at ronnemec@gmail.com to request a subscription to Nemec’s daily written accounts of the trip. The ride can also be tracked on the Internet at http://www.bikeforthecure.org.

To purchase a commemorative T-shirt or otherwise donate to the cause, checks can be made out to: Huntington’s Disease Society of America, and mailed to Pedal the Gulf for HD, c/o Marie Nemec, 3087 A 1/2 Road, GJ, CO 81503-9678.

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