Thank you to family and friends for your strong support in the battle against ALS last year. I am cognizant of how special it was what we were able to accomplish last year, raising over $19,000 in honor of my father Dr. Rajvir Singh Jhooty. At the same time, I do recognize that that event in our family was more than one year of an annual event, it was symbolic. It was an outpouring of love from family and friends in light of dad's recent passing, and was a reflection of the type of man he was and the impact he had on the people he knew in this world. I also recognize that, being a year removed, it would be unrealistic to expect to generate those levels of funds on a year-in year-out basis, so I just want to assure you all that any donation, no matter how large or small, or even if a donation is not possible this year, is greatly appreciated.
With that being said, the key to creating long-lasting change for the funding of the fight against ALS is consistency, so I owe it to my father to continue his fight and "ride for those who can't ride" at the Ride to Defeat ALS event this year. Upon completion of the 51 mile ride last year, I have decided that this year, I will be be training for and, God-willing, successfully complete the metric century ride (100km) on July 16th at Mt. Angel.
ALS is a devastating illness. It took my father from me and until we have a cure, I feel the weight on my shoulders to do whatever I can within my power to move the research forward and secure funding for current ALS patients. The more and more I learn about this illness, and the not only uphill but rather impossible climb my father faced, the more my commitment to this fight steepens even further. For example, for a research project that I did on ALS in my English class this last semester, I found that ALS has been given "orphan disease status", a status used to signify a disease that is neglected due to its low prevalence and therefore the lack of financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to pursue a cure. The unexplicable contradiction comes in the fact that ALS actually exceeds the maximum prevalence threshold for an orphan disease, making it a disease that is just neglected, and a terminal one at that.
If this disease can bring out an eventual concession from my dad--a man who was filled with pure, unconditional love, an unshakeable charm, an unbreakable sense of optimism and faith, and a pure heart and golden soul--then I don't know if there are any words I could find to properly describe the magnitude of this vicious illness.
I look forward to biking again this year in honor of my father and in hope that one the day, no one will have to receive an ALS diagnosis again. For those living with the illness, I pray that the resources generated from this event make the illness more liveable for them. If you are willing to contribute to this cause, I am incredibly grateful. If not, thank you still for taking the time to read my cause and further develop an awareness of the illness that we of Team Rajvir care so deeply about.