Archive for July, 2010

Saturday, 31Jul10, Paramus, NJ

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Blood fact: “Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups: A,B, AB, and O … in 1901.”

Wow! What a day!  Do you want to hear the best kept secret in the nation?  Yep, it’s true … Paramus, NJ, is a beautiful place!   If you ever want to see New York … come to Paramus, NJ, then it’s just a short 23 mile hop to New York from there!

Thank you … thank you … thank you to … Karen F., Mary Ann and the Community Blood Services in Paramus … you are all amazing and I personally had a wonderful time visiting with their staff and their donors!

  • To give you an idea how much I enjoyed myself here are a few of the people I met: Mary Ann, Rich, karen, Vernon, Gary, Patty, Eva, Chief Koenemund, Dr Ron Walsh, FF Ken K, the photographer from the Record/Herald News … Viorel Floresco, Oriana ( a young volunteer), Nicole and YoMary (1st time donors), Tania, Jonathon, Gloria, Margarita, Ellen, Stan S., Joe G., Allen, Andrew, Scott, Mike, John, Steve, Jimmy, Bob, Milt C., Rich L, Sachi Fujimori(staff reporter for The Record)Dennis Niland ( , ), Janaki, Rupal, Linda, Estrella, Karen, Heta, Doreen S., Harry P., Alred A., Erika M, Kazuo M., Richard S, Chief James S., Dr. Ron Walsh, Vernon Reed and many others … I almost forgot to thank “Bea” who was the 1st person to greet me when I arrived … she is now nicknamed “Queen B”…

To all the staff and donors at Community Blood Services in Paramus, NJ … thank you for a beautiful day and thank you for the honor of spending some of the day with each of you …

Talk to you tomorrow from Bethlehem and Emmaus, PA …

Friday, 30Jul10, New York City, NY

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Blood fact:  “Four main red blood cell types: A,B,AB, and O.  Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor.  AB is the universal recipient; O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.”

Today I woke up in the W Hotel … Times Square … on the 50th floor listening to sirens and the noises of the big city … Wow!

I want to thank Keith H from the New York Blood Center for helping me get here (by cell phone)

Today he will meet me at 0930 hrs and we will go to the scheduled blood drives.

I’ll check in with you later today when I upload the pictures … until then.

What an incredible day in New York City … and … at the New York Blood Center.

A special “thank you” to Keith, Janice, Michelle, Diallo, Sebrina, Vivian, Novellette and many others whom I talked to while walking around and touring the NYBC blood center.

On the way to the Union Square mobile coach blood drive … Keith and I had lunch at the Cafe Fresco … a Turkey Cuban sandwich and fruit salad … Ummm good

Thank you to the many donors who were there … donating and who took the time to speak with me and gave me the opportunity to say “thank you” for their life of generosity!  (Donors like: Ralph, Carol, Ralph F. Jr, Lauren, James M., George R., Bruce D., Ryan B., Dhuha, Marie P. Gladys F. and many others who came to NYBC with the intent to make a difference!)

After the blood drive … we took a cab back to the W (in New York cabbies are a way of life) and I checked out, picked up my truck, bike and luggage and then drove to Paramus, NJ … and checked into the Crown Plaza hotel.(A very nice place with the Bonefish Grill in the same building, so if you’re ever in Paramus, NJ, try it! A special thanks to Karen Ferriday for all of her help …)

After checking in … I decided to add some new addresses to my Garmin … and … lo and behold … my little Garmin died! (Can you believe that?) 

Yet it helped take me out of NY safely without getting lost too many times and then it died in NJ.  (Lucky for me there was a Best Buy close by and I was able to replace the unit … however, now I have to re-enter all the addresses of the ABC stops I will be making this week … Oops! (Shucks, Darn…. yata, yata)

Once again it was a great day in New York City … meeting, greeting, and thanking staff and donors, and then walking through and around Union Square Farmers Market … what an interesting place with lots of fresh organic vegetables, fruit, etc.

The best part of NYC for me was the opportunity to say thank you to all the donors … because in my mind each donor represents one of the 110 donors who saved my life!

I was surprised at what a nice sleepy bedroom community Paramus, NJ, appears to be… I’ll let you know more tomorrow.

Thursday, 29Jul10, Providence, RI (and then the drive to NYC)

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Blood fact:  “94 per cent of blood donors are registered voters.”

Wow!  What an incredible day at the Rhode Island Blood Center in Providence, RI.

The Tomorrow Fund celebration was today … 3 television channels showed up … , 6, 10, and 12.

It was another amazing day of heart to heart talks … visiting with donors and thanking staff … if you get a chance please check out the pictures on Facebook … they show the love and compassion that donors have for recipients … and … how children have fun just being playful and loving even when there are sick.

Talk to you tomorrow in New York City …

Wednesday, 28Jul10, REST DAY, Portsmouth, NH, drive to Providence, RI

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Woke up after a good night’s rest and starting packing for the Phase 2 part of the trip.

Received call from Inova Blood Services, New York Blood Center, Paramus, NJ, and Providence, RI

Now I’m starting to get excited about Phase 2.

To all the ABC blood centers … I can’t wait to meet with your donors and staff … thank you for your hospitality!

Well, today on the rest day I drove to Providence, RI,  and hooked up with Frank and Rennie … at the Rhode Island Blood Center.

Rennie gave me a tour of their facility and later we went to visit to current blood drives … check out the pictures on Facebook.

When I first arrived at the center I met Jean at the front desk lobby … then I met Frank and Rennie … Rennie gave me a tour of their building and introduced me to several of their staff … who are some very amazing compassionate people!

These are some of the people I met today:  Leslie, Nauman, Glenn, Scott, Kristy, Kristel, Lisa, Severance, Frieda,Courtney, Amanda, Katie, Jean Mc, Elaine, Robert, Helen, Chris, Sonia, Debbie, Michele, Celine, Kathie, Terry, Manny, Jason, David, Matt, Matt, Joel, Leontyna (LT), Joann, Lou, Paul, Ken, Susan, Carol,Sarah, Chris, Greg, Soraya, Lisa, Gail, Joann (and her grandson, Cayen), John and Frank who were donors.

The Lonsdale firemen were: DC Tom Ryan, Lt. Ryan Griffin, Lt. Dave Levesque,  FF Dave Marin, and Oakley their boxer!

The mobile coach crew were: Gerry, Kathy, Star and Sue … thanks for introducing us to Melissa Yates a donor.

At the Warrick PO blood drive I met … Flo (team leader) Lead Donor Specialist, Carol and Sandy, Paul Dwyer and his two sons, (donors) David Matteson (donor for over 30 years)

At the barbeque I met Dave, Buck and Ginny …  I think that is all … if I missed anyone I’ll catch you’all tomorrow.

Rhode Island Blood Center has an amazing program called “Summer of Inspiration” where every week they share stories of blood recipients …  their wall of honor is graced by the following recipients, who I hope to meet some of them tomorrow:  Keith Bloomer, Michael and Angela Fallgren, Isabelle, Molly Harrington, Chris Creighton, Barbara Joyce, Art Berluti, Lynda LaCava, and many others to come!

I also learned about Dr. DZIK’s story … helping the Mulago Hospital in Uganda … it’s amazing how the “give blood- give life”  ripple effect just keeps on giving and has moved to the international level!  Also how RIBC is developing the “public cord blood bank” for women and infants …

Each day I learn something new about the incredible donors, and the blood doing industry staff who do many amazing things “behind the scenes” … you are the epitome of compassionate giving people … THANK YOU!

I want to thank RIBC, Frank and Rennie(Renelda) for a wonderful day in Providence area while visiting with staff and donors. 

A special thanks to Larry Smith (CEO), Carolyn Young, (CMO), for their hospitality and the incredible staff they have working with them … RIBC … is the 1st of many incredible blood drives this summer and I’m honored to part a part of their local programs, such as the “Seasons Pass” which brings HOPE, COMMUNITY, and LIFE to the RIBC area. 

Thanks for all the incredible “good” you do on a daily basis … you are an inspiration to all of us … as a representative of “blood recipients” everywhere … THANK YOU!

Talk to you tomorrow at the “Summer of Inspiration” blood drive and celebration!

Tuesday, 27Jul10, Portsmouth, NH

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Blood fact:

“Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood, which is the most common form of donation, every 56 days. (or every two months)  Females receive 53 % of blood transfusions and males receive 47%.”

Today is Day 52 … the last day of our ABB “Cross Country Challenge” and the last day of Phase 1 of the “Life Across America 2010″.

Wow!  It was an enjoyable day and fun riding the last 60 miles with our ABB cycling family … at the end we all met up at Rye Junior HS and then had a police escort from there to the Wallis Sands Beach … and … to the end where Gail, Amber, Dick, and Anna, and his sister and husband were there to greet us.

What an awesome day … since my computer accidently deleted over 60 % of my blog last night … I would suggest you go to Facebook … type in Give Blood and read the comments … that will give you the essence of the excitement, exhaustion, and love for our fellow cyclists …

A special thanks to the Rye Police Department for the police escort to the beach …

A special thank you to ABB, Doug T, Bill and his incredible staff leaders … they were all amazing … Michelle, Alex, Gerard, Judy and Pam … we couldn’t have done it with all your help … thanks for the memories … and to Gerard, Adella can’t wait to see your DVD on this year’s CCC

To my fellow cyclists … what an extended family … from the fastest to the slowest and to all of us “in between” … you are the life blood of tours like this … your friendship and your relationship are what makes this memory came alive … contrary to popular belief … it’s not the bike, it’s not the open highway, it’s not the rain, it’s not the wind, it’s not the hotels, it’s not the the food … folks … IT”S THE PEOPLE AND THE RELATIONSHIPS … and memories …. that we build together …

You are each in your own right a WINNER … you came into this world a winner and in fact you are “gold medal” winners …

You are a unique individual who has had to overcome doubts and fears, naysayers, and rise above it all to make your life a success …

I’m very proud to have share 2 months of my life with you … and … my incredible daughter’s belief … that her dream would come true … with all of you … like her … you have earned an eternal memory in my heart forever …

Thanks to all of you … don’t forget that for me … Phase 2 of Life Across America ( ) is only beginning … please keep in touch and follow the nation wide blood drives as I have the honor and opportunity to meet and thank blood donors throughout America.

Wow!  What a memory!  (And to George S., from Santa Rosa, thanks for teaching me how to “spin” … your endurance is amazing!)

Talk to you later.

Monday, 26Jul10, Manchester, NH

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Blood Fact: “One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives1″

Wow! We are now in Manchester, NH… and … I was able to hug Gail and Amber … first time for a long time!

I want to tell Gail and Amber, how special it was to ride into the Comfort Inn today and to see both of them there waiting on us Adella and I to arrive … thanks a lot!

What can I say about the ride today?

First there were a lot of hills and lots of climbing … and … I can’t forget to give a special mention to the Old Sullivan road … it was amazing … yes … it was a 24% climb … and it just kept going and going … the only good thing about it was … it wasn’t raining and the road was dry!

It was a day of cycling loaded with lots of turns, lots of climbs, lots of wind, and lots of beautiful NH scenery.

For right now … let me say … I’m really glad today is in the “memory banks” of my mind!

I’m looking forward to tonight’s route rap … and … being close to family again.

Talk to you later.

Wow!  What an amazing dinner and an incredible opportunity for each of us to say “good-bye” in our own special way!

Looking forward to the finish tomorrow at Wallis Sands Beach in Portsmouth, NH.

Sunday, 25Jul10, Brattleboro, VT

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Today was my father’s birthday … even though he passed away a few years ago … I still think of him and wanted to say “Happy Birthday” … because he taught me so many good things by his example: integrity, your word is your bond, and no matter whatever happens … never ever give up … and … “it’s not how many times you get knocked down that is important … it’s how many times you get back up!

And each one of those attributes … are applicable to this year’s “Life Across America 2010″ ride!  (Whoopee, only Manchester and Portsmouth left to go … it’s a nice feeling … to be so close to finishing another successful tour!

Blood Fact:  “Approximately  1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.”  (Think about it … it is really important to encourage your family and friends to give blood … 1 in 7 may need it!)

Today was an awesome day!  I think most of it was because it DID NOT RAIN!  Yes, I rode 80 miles from Latham, NY, to Brattleboro, VT, and had to climb two mountain passes … yet … it was one of those days where I knew it was going to be a good day, no matter what happened!

Kiwi Rick (my New Zealand climbing mate was “supercharged” today and I was amazed as he kicked in the “afterburners” while we were climbing … he found a “gear” that worked for him and just kept pounding it … until I couldn’t see him anymore!  And even a max48 mph downhill and a 35 mph average on the two downhills couldn’t reel him back in. (Congrats Kiwi … you were awesome today and you deserve the 1st floor accomodations for such a fantastic effort!  Your “roomie” Don will be pleased!)

My game plan today was to ride at my climbing pace, enjoy God’s beauty, and do my best to finish with a reasonable average for the day and I was happy with a 15 mph average for today!

Adella just got in and she said it has started to rain … yet, she didn’t get “wet” and boy was she happy!

Tomorrow is Brattleboro to Manchester … approx. 86 miles miles and more climbing … but who cares … only 2 days left … I’m starting to have “flashbacks” of very cautious optimism … which will lead to “all-out” cheers of “Whoopee, Yippee, and I’m so happy!” (Once we finish the ride!)

Nice dinner tonight … steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, and ice cream with hot fudge.  (I ate with Don and Sue tonight)

Everyone is getting ready for tomorrow’s last big ride … 86 miles and then the good-bye party in Manchester tomorrow night.

I received a call that Gail and Amber are already in Manchester and very curious as to what time we’ll be arriving at the hotel? (not sure yet.)

Lots of very cool “things” are happening behind the scenes … tell you about it tomorrow.

Saturday, 24Jul10, Latham, NY

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Blood fact:  “Only 37 % of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood and (less than 10 %) do it annually”

Wow!  It was another incredible day for riding in NY today … we had a 30% chance of rain and we definitely got that right away … we started out in a cloudy mist … which lead to a heavier mist … and … finally to a nice steady rain … throughout the day.

So another 77 miles in the rain … I personally am getting tired of feeling like a drowned rat!

The Erie canal was awesome with a lot of history behind it and the bike path next to it was very smooth and a lot of fun to ride on.

We had a lot of fun today … in spite of the rain … and we had time to take some pictures to share with you.

Once we checked in … Paul was picked up by Karen and went home.  He later returned to pick up Adella and I up and drive us  to his house and treat us to a great home cooked meal.  (It was a great dinner of cold cucumber garlic soup,  pork chops, peanut sauce spaghetti, green beans fresh from his garden,  orange juice and for dessert … homemade vanilla ice cream and strawberry & raspberry sorbet)

What an incredible treat!  (Thank you to Paul and Karen!)  It was nice meeting their family … Emily, Jonathon, and Bernadine while we were there.

After we came back to the hotel … the ABB cyclists were having the “t-shirt swap” and it was fun watching all of the “shenigans” that were happening in order to get their chosen t-shirt … or … one lone jersey! (Now that’s a different story all by itself.)

Now it’s time to go to bed, get some sleep and get up at 5:00 a.m. … and get ready to do it all again … from Latham, NY, to Brattleboro, VT.

Talk to you later.

Friday, 23Jul10, Little Falls, NY

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

First things first!   Here’s a Blood Fact for your enjoyment: 

  •  ”Someone Needs blood every 2 seconds”

Now let’s talk about the 79 mile bike ride today from Liverpool to Little Falls, NY.

What can I say that would get your attention?  

It rained and then it rained some more … and … then it rained a whole lot more!

We started out in the rain … we rode in the rain … and we finished the ride in the rain!

Therefore … it was a very RAINY day!

In fact, it was raining so hard that I didn’t take any pictures today … so hopefully some of the “ABB staff” in the vans …were able to take some pix, to show you how rainy it really was.

Now this evening will be spent “drying out” the cycling shoes, the gloves and the very wet and soaked cycling clothes.

However looking on the really positive side of a day like this is … the really good news was that Rick and Linda’s outside “by the pool” dinner last night was … dry!

Now we only have 4 riding days left, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tuesday … I sure hope they are “dry” days.

Tonight we are staying at the Knights Inn and we had a nice dinner.

Before dinner, Adella was practicing on the piano in the Banquet room and I asked her to play … “Where Have All the Dreamers Gone?” by Deanna Edwards … we sang it together and it was a lot of fun to listen to Adella play and then to be able to sing with her.

Later after dinner, Larry Johnson played piano for us and also Gerard played piano … so it was a very relaxing time to finish off a very rainy, wet, intense day of cycling!

Thursday, 22Jul10, Liverpool, NY

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Blood Fact for today: 43,000 pints:  (amount of donated blood used eachday in the U.S. and Canada)

It was an awesome day for us, Adella rode with me and with my good friend, Paul Maher, from Albany, NY, we had a lot of fun together.

Another 69.5 miles closer to our final goal … Portsmouth, NH.

It was a great day for riding … a nice tailwind for most of the day … riding with good friends and family … and then it happened!

A flat from a piece of wire … Paul and Adella stopped with me to hold the bike while I fixed the flat …  Michelle came by in the SAG van and helped us out with a real pump to pump it back up to 120 psi.

Then back on the road and the three of us had a good ride together into Liverpool.  We stopped at a local ice cream drive- for a milk shake and a bite to eat.

I was having some personal issues today with my left knee … from a slip in the bathtub last night in the hotel room when the towel rack I was holding onto for leverage collapsed … yet, today everything seemed to work out (for the better) as the knee loosened and warmed up … we’ll see how it goes tomorrow after “icing it down” this afternoon?

This evening we went to an awesome dinner put on my Robb’s brother who lives in the Syracuse area … it was celestial … at a beautiful home in the surburbs … All we can say is … “thank you” for your hospitality! (check out the photos on Facebook)

Only 5 cycling days left in Phase 1.

I’m receiving lots of ABC member email for the “blood events” that are being promoted in: Amarillo, TX, Greenville, S.C., Pensacola, FL., plus many more … I want to say “thank you” to each of the blood centers for their incredible staff and donors!

Talk to you later.