About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 5: Bikers v. Cyclists

Today, we embraced the challenge of topping the Sierra Nevadas. It was either that, or we got tremendously bored of going uphill and very slowly. We cranked from Cooks Station to Kirkwood, a hefty climb, in about three hours, which set us up perfectly for a big day. Our legs comprehended the climbs in altitude a bit more viscerally than our minds that registered the changes in altitude by signs that noted the difference in thousands. Sean led the charge up with perfect, infatiguable form while Melina followed with ever increasing endurance. I brought up the rear, wondering why it was so difficult to bike in a straight line.

In Kirkwood we stopped in the local inn/restaurant where we ate alongside the tens (seemed like hundreds) of motorcyclists that passed us during the day. I consider myself a fairly tolerant person, but the sound of motorcycles buzzing past us and the presumptive swagger of riding in a posse...upset all of us. Why can't we two-wheeled folks be friends? Sean theorizes that it's because we're burning tons of calories climbing mountains and they are lowering their collective right feet. Makes sense.

Our bellies, full of pulled pork sandwiches, were counterbalanced by a delicious tailwind that pushed us up to Carson's Pass (8,574 ft. ). Strangely, the climb to Kirkwood seemed even harder than the final push. We celebrated our accomplishment at the top with photos and general good vibes (and maybe an occasional verbal jab at the motorcycles passing by). Riding that emotional and physical momentum, we started coasting down the backside (or hindway as my ancestors would likely say) of the Sierra Nevadas. I think we had forgotten that bikes could be ridden without burning legs so that was a pleasant (re)discovery. We ate up the miles so easily going downhill that we decided to make a great day into a huge mileage gain and go from Cooks Station to Carson City (82 miles).

We also crossed our first state line! Western Nevada is an interesting place: lots of really cool houses and kind of a retirement community meets wealthy suburbs meets resort combination. Genoa had a charming park with great grass--we rested under some trees for a while before making a wind-challenged push into Carson City.

Shade is a magical thing,

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