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2018 Woodstock and rideATAXIA Chicago

ChicagoFA Woodstock and RideATAXIA Chicago are two events I have always wanted to make it to. I went to FA Woodstock on Friday, July 20th for the day and got to meet a lot of Midwest FA families. FA Woodstock was a fun event to be at, specifically because we got to relax on the Flying H Ranch and bond with each other throughout the entire day (two full days for those who went the whole time).

We made tie-dye shirts, did blood draws for Dr. Lynch and Jen Farmer, and we ate lots of good food. The entire day Friday was on and off rainstorms, so I’m sure I did not get the full FA Woodstock experience. When the sun was out, kids were playing in the swimming pool. Fellow FAers were horseback riding, fishing, and playing with the goats. I had a wonderful time and made a lot of new friends who I will continue to stay in touch with for years to come. I look forward to going to FA Woodstock for the full-time next year and a special thank you goes out to Tom and Paula Hook for hosting everyone at the ranch!!!!

I love baseball and thought it was the perfect situation when I found out the Cubs were in town the same weekend of the Chicago ride. The next day on Saturday, we had a goodbye breakfast at the Flying H Ranch and then drove into the city. We took some time to explore Millennium Park, enjoyed a very filling deep-dish pizza at Giordano’s, and then went to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

On Sunday, we had the ride at Channahon Central Park, which is about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. It was pouring rain in the morning, but the rain decided to let-up just as the 50-milers started. I chose to do the 12-mile route, which really felt like 20 miles because it was on a dirt path. Because of this, I needed to get picked up around the 8-mile mark, and my friend Kathryn Huckabey finished the ride for the both of us. All in all, the ride was very successful and we raised over $140,000 for FA research. At the ride, I was able to connect with Emily Young’s family and a lot of my friends from Tampa, including Allison and Danny Hernandez, Matt Lazinski, and Tom Bradley – who have all played a key role in FARA’s journey toward a cure for FA. Thanks to everyone for coming out to support FARA. Together we will cure FA.

Sam Bridgman Ambassador



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