A message from the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

Ryan and Dwight hope to raise $10,000 to support the burn camp, which will host 70 children between the ages of 8 and 18. They are determined to reach the West Coast as a personal challenge as well as helping young burn survivors.

Started in 1991, the Arthur C. Luf Children's Burn Camp is located in northern Connecticut on 176 acres. Every summer, burn survivors come to the burn camp, which is a safe and fun environment that helps kids heal emotionally and physically. The Burn Camp is free to the children, who come primarily from the Northeast and some foreign counteries, but any burn survivor child anywhere is welcome. More than 70 adult counselors, primarily active and retired firefighters and burn unit nurses, occupational and physical therapists, child psychologists and even a doctor will serve as mentors for the week.

It's also our goal to promote burn awareness and fire prevention and education, which we do year around. We sponsor a burn survivor, burned in a car accident that involved speeding and drinking alcohol, who speaks to high school students throughout Connecticut. We also support the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, helping to purchase equipment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lovely Ladies in Chenoa

We were rollin west down the historical Route-66 when we stopped at a gas station to get some grape juice and a rest. We ended up talking to this really nice gas station clerk that was interested in our story. After getting a quick rest, we mounted our rides and took off again, but we didn't get too far before we were greeted by Meg and Rachel in an SUV. They pulled up aside us and got right to the point, "are you guys riding your bikes across the country?" Rachel invited us back to her farm only a short way off of Route-66. We loaded our bikes into the back of the SUV and drove to her farm with our legs hanging out the back with trunk open. When we got there, we were introduced to her parents, Nancy and Joel and her dog Edy. They live on a farm and own 600 acres. It was Dwight and my first time on a farm, invited, so we took advantage of Joel's offer to check everything out. (I think they felt like they were boring us but it was really interesting for us, especially after living in the city or close to it our whole lives.) We got to take showers and use their computer to update the site a bit. Nancy made us some pasta and Dwight some vegan pasta.

We mentioned to Rachel that we were biking for a charity concerning a burn unit and she told us that her father, Joel is a trustee on the fire department. Joel made a phone call to the fire cheif and got permission for us to stay at the local fire department. I didn't know it yet but this was a saving-grace.

Rachel and her parents gave us a ride to the local fire department in Chenoa. They helped us assemble some cots for us, turned on the a/c and packed us some leftovers. We said our goodbyes and I thought that would be the last we would see of them...

That night I woke up at 3 am with a migraine...my head, neck and ears were killling me and I wasn't able to go back to sleep. I knew for sure it was something serious. I waited until 7:30am to wake up Dwight and told him about my situation. I knew I had to go to the doctors but it was Sunday and everything was closed except for a hospital 10 miles north of us in Pontiac but there was no way I could pedal that far in my condition. I didn't want to bother Rachel and her family after all they had done for us already but I was calling around using the yellow pages and couldn't find a taxi ride for less than $100 on a Sunday. Out of options, I called Rachel and she and her mother came immediately to pick me up. Rachel had to go to work for the day but Nancy drove us to the E.R. and waited with us for two or three hours while the doctors sat around scratching their heads. In the end, they didn't know what was wrong with me but with a lot of rest and some pain killers I was able to get back on the bike the next day. Thanks so much to Rachel, Nancy and Joel for being there for me when I needed it most.

Edy giving me a shot below the belt...

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