Hi there, my name’s Jerry, I’m 59 from Brooklyn, New York and I’m an athlete. I also happen to have cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs, digestive system and many other organs in the body. Eventually, people like me, who are lucky enough to live on “borrowed time” may have to get a lung transplant. And, wow, that brings a whole other set of challenges, but ones I’m happy to tackle in return for clear lungs and deep breaths.
So while for most of my life, I kept my CF under wraps, in the past decade or so I’ve felt a responsibility to raise awareness and funding needed to find a cure, because right now, there is no cure. A lung transplant is helping to extend my life, but unfortunately, it won’t make my CF disappear.
One of the ways I’m raising awareness and funding for CF is by embarking on a 500 mile bike ride for a second consecutive year with my good friend and CF compadre, Emily Schaller. This year we’ll ride from Bar Harbor, Maine to New York City from September 14th to September 24th. The really cool part is the finish. Not just because we’ll have 500 miles behind us, but, we’ll be crossing the finish line at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where I was given a new set of lungs just a few years ago.
Last year our “Bike to Breathe” was an unknown and it taught me many lessons, and as a result, I’ve stepped up my game by training smarter. We also plan to have fun and we’d love to see you along the way! The schedule is below – stop by and say, “hello” – it’s going to be a blast!
And, before you go, bookmark this page – it’s not only where you can follow me on my Bike to Breathe journey, but I’m going to tell some stories that brought me to where I am today – the inside scoop of my life with CF and my refusal to let it stop me from living my best possible life.
• Day 1 (Sept. 14) – Bar Harbor, ME to Rockland, ME
• Day 2 (Sept. 15) – Rockland, ME to Portland, ME
• Day 3 (Sept. 16) – Portland, ME to Boston, MA
• Day 4 (Sept. 17) – Boston, MA to Providence, RI
• Day 5 (Sept. 18) – Providence, RI to Hartford, CT
• Day 6 (Sept. 19) – Hartford, CT to New Haven, CT
• Day 7 (Sept. 20) – New Haven, CT to Norwalk, CT
• Day 8 (Sept. 21) – Norwalk, CT to New York, NY
*Dates and cities subject to change – please check back here regularly for an updated schedule!