Day 24: Palm Coast and Titusville, FL

Jacksonville Beach, FL > Palm Coast, FL : 63 miles
Palm Coast, FL > Titusville, FL : 86 miles
76

Blogging daily has become somewhat of a challenge in the last week, but I want to assure you it isn’t laziness.

So here’s what you missed:

Yesterday’s ride was pretty good. I thought St. Augustine was a really interesting town. Good tacos. And according to legend, it’s the oldest town in the country. Nice! We rolled in to Palm Coast pretty early and had a chance to get showered before the Emory team got in around 6:30. We had a chance to catch up/meet over dinner which was really nice.

For those of you who don’t know, the Emory team is made up of Amy Langston (my dad’s transplant doctor), Jessica Thomas (nurse practicioner at Emory Winship), Rachel Veldman (transplant coordinator), Christina Gragnaniello (nurse), and Lynn Anderson (Winship public relations).

It’s been a huge boost to have Amy and Jessica riding with us and Christina and Rachel in the support car. Especially today when Amy Langston was leading the whole team at 20mph. Go doc, go!

Today we started out with a really beautiful stretch along the coast. Some of the best riding we’ve had since Cape Cod, to be honest. Then we met up with Lynn, Rachel, and Christina in Daytona Beach and had a quick second breakfast at a little diner on Main Street. From there until first lunch it got really hot, but the roads stayed nice.

The dark clouds started to roll in when we were on our way out of the restaurant from lunch. We were thankful that Jessica had a flat, because by the time it started raining we were right in front of a fish farm. Perfect timing. The woman working there, Phyllis, let us take shelter in the office for an hour and a half while the storm passed. We got to talking and as it turns out, they grow a lot of the food for the zoos and aquariums around the south east, including the brine shrimp for the whale sharks at the aquarium in Atlanta! They send out FedEx overnight shipments every day.

We finished the day sopping wet and cold, but strong after the worst of the rain subsided. A hot shower and cold beer later and we all felt as good as new.

On a personal note, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the doctors, nurses and staff at Emory Winship who saved my dad’s life. There’s nobody else who could have possibly talked me into this besides my dad. This trip has reminded me how lucky we are to have him and how lucky he is to be alive. This is the adventure of a lifetime.

Thanks to everyone who has supported him/us. Thanks a million times over!

If you have not already registered as bone marrow stem cell donor, you should consider it. The donation process is fairly simple and similar to a blood transfusion with almost no risk to the donor. At Emory alone, over 300 transplants are done every year and the number is growing as the technology improves. You can learn more about becoming a potential donor at marrow.org.

Each year more than 10,000 patients are diagnosed with diseases that require a bone marrow transplant. Less than half receive the transplant they need because they are unable to find a matched donor. In Georgia alone there are 169 patients searching for a donor to save their lives.

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