Connect for the CURE

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Last, but not least...

So finally here it is the last re-cap!
It may seem like I am a giant procrastinator, but really I was out of town as soon as we got back from the trip! I promise.

What can I say about the trip that hasn't already been mentioned in the 3 testimonials by the guys? Well, it was....a journey. A trek that made us dig down deep within ourselves to find out what we were made of. A trip that made us laugh every time we saw Matt's mustache or Nate doing the Zohan "disco, disco" dance. The trip that made you long to be anywhere but sitting on a bike seat and asking yourself, "How did Rosie (Ryan) just dominate us up that mountain?"

It was the type of trip that taught us to trust one another. It taught us that the midwest was not flat. That West Virgina is in fact crazy and their drivers will try to run you off their roads. We learned of the generosity and kindness of regular old Americans. We learned of what not to do when your motorhome is stuck in sand. Gained an understanding of how gravel always wins in a crash, especially if it's Day 2 and how to work things out after an arguement....because let's face it, we were together 24/7 for 51 days. It was bound to happen.

But let me tell you. I cannot wait to see the crew again! I can't wait to say, "Matt....I mean Nat (Nate)! (We did this to mess with each other all the time) I can't wait for that next time we all get to hop back on our bikes and hit the road again. I can't wait for Rosie to kick our butts again up Glendora Mtn. Road. I can't wait for Matt to grow his mustache out again.

I am extremely excited for what lies ahead for Connect for the CURE. It was a journey I will never forget.

On behalf of team C4C, We would like to say thank you to all who kept us in their prayers, housed us, supported us financially, fed us, taught us, sacrificed for us, and loved us. We love you all and truly thank you for being a part of the CURE.


In Closing

Well, it's been about a week since I got back from the trip. I don't recommend taking the greyhound...anywhere. Because of all the stuff I had, it was much cheaper to take a bus from Colorado Springs to Southern California. That was an experience in itself, but I'm sure you all want to hear about the actual trip, the experiences we had and what I learned and so forth. So here it goes...

I worked with both Christian and Nate in the warehouse at APU during the fall semester of '09. It was probably early October when everyone at work was eating in the cafeteria. Christian came in and the first thing he said when he sat down was, "I'm going to cycle across the country this summer." The other guys were thinkin, 'yeah right.' I immediately became interested. I found out that it was going to be a fundraiser for diabetes research. I thought, 'what a cool thing to do, cycle across the country to raise funds and awareness for diabetes.' My mom has type two and a few other family members has diabetes as well. I was in. I think it was the next week that Christian, Ryan, and I met for the first time at the Chipotle off of Lone Hill. This was the first time I met Ryan. Ryan had everything down on paper (his vision and plans). I could tell he was serious about this. I found out his reason for starting something like this - his girlfriend having type one. I thought this is awesome. Now began a long year of preparation, making phone calls, going from company to company getting turned down left and right. At first it was very discouraging, but as time went on it got easier to talk to people about what we were doing.

We left on June 6th, 2010 from the Santa Monica Pier. We had a big event for our launch; a mix of family, friends, and sponsors were there to support us and see us off. I had so much adrenaline going, this was going to be an exciting trip. We got lost in South Central, but later found a trail that took us all the way back to Azusa - our first stop. All of you know about day two, one of the toughest days on the CURE. I could probably fill an entire book if I told all of our experiences. As the trip went on the days began to blur a little bit. We were forgetting what day it was and the date.

For what we were doing, things could not have gone any smoother. We missed all the storms. We were sandwiched between the storms (storms in front and storms behind us). There was only one day of rain (the 4th of July), and we hit one lightening storm toward the end of one of our days. That was one blessing. Another blessing would be the drivers. Although we got the occasional driver who is against cyclists on the road, we had no major problems (no one got hit). Another one was with our bikes. We were bound to have bike trouble, and we did, but it was nothing that couldn't get fixed. We also met many great people along the way. One couple stands out to me in my mind...We ended up stopping in a neighborhood in Indiana for lunch, and this couple came out. They were interested in what we were doing, and they gave us 'friendship bread.' Their hospitality was awesome. They asked if we needed anything thing else. We couldn't have asked for a smoother trip. I have no doubt that God had his hand in it.

The guys I was with was a blessing in itself. The group dynamics couldn't have been better. For the most part, we all got along, each person brought their own unique personality, and they all fell into place. Their were difficult times during the trip, it wasn't all butterflies and roses, but we got through it. The biggest thing that I learned was patience, and doing what I needed to do, even if I didn't want to. I learned more of what it's like to work in a team.

I just want to say thank you again to all our sponsors and supporters, family and friends. I want to say thanks to the Ezaki's; Brandon was a very big part of this trip, will always be in our hearts. This is a journey that I will never forget.

-Matt Kaiser

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ReCap by Ryan Rosenhahn

First off sorry for this blog taking so long, as you can imaging things have been pretty crazy. So thank you to all of those still watching the blog. As we set off in the motor home for Colorado we had a lot of time to reflect on the trip. The first thought in my mind was how this trip would not have been possible without the support (financial, spiritual, emotional, encouragement, etc…) from all of you. Together we were able to raise around $26, 500!!!!! Great work and thank you to everyone!
As I began this journey I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I can remember walking into Dr. Bezjian’s office in the beginning of the year and telling her, “I am going to cycle across the country for diabetes.” She then replied, “When? With who? Who is supporting you? How much money do you need for expenses? Do you have a non-profit set up? Who is helping with logistics? What route are you taking? Can you fix a bicycle?” I simply replied, “I don’t know”. From day one of this project, it is important that I point out God’s hand in all of this. He provided people, students, mentors, donors, encouragement, and so much more. I can honestly say that every-day God provided something we needed to finish the miles. One day it would be we miss-calculated the miles and had less to go than we thought. Another day it would be we met someone who had endless encouragement for what we were doing. Sometimes it would be a family coming up to us in the Red-Robin parking lot and donating $50. Other days it would be hearing that Christian’s mom has her A-1C levels down to normal, or Laura’s doctor telling her, “these are the best levels I have seen in your entire life!” Sometimes it was thinking of Brandon Ezaki and what his family is going through. When we needed it, God was always there to provide. I can honestly say the only day I felt alone was July 22nd “Gut check day” when we climbed almost 13,000 ft in two days. I don’t have a great analogy or sermon for why I felt alone that day. I can only reason that God just wanted me to go through it without any breaks. Maybe to be out there and truly test me physically and mentally. Usually I ride with a strategy when climbing hills/mountains and always pay attention to my form and cadence. That day there was no strategy or technique. It was grit your teeth and hammer the next peddle. There was no break that day, that day I will remember vividly the rest of my life. From sand on the west coast, to 40 mph wind in the desert, to living like high rollers in Vegas, to literally not breathing much on top of wolf creek pass, to a not so flat mid-west, to dancing in memory of the bike seats, to the ghetto in Phili, to the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. and finally to the Big Apple greeted by the most amazing family and supporters, this trip has been the adventure and learning experience of a life-time. The lessons learned and trials faced will forever be with us, there are things no one can take from us. Together we all got to learn more about this terrible disease and what it means. I personally can’t thank you enough for supporting our cause in fighting diabetes. This disease is very close to me and I pray for a day when we won’t have to worry about our loved one’s whether its in this life or the next His timing is right. I do know that we all took action; you are doers of the Word. I do not know all your reasons for donating/ supporting but know that it did and will continue to make a difference. “Greater things are yet to come, yes greater things are still to be done…” Congratulations pat yourself on the back and be proud of what we have accomplished together. Anyone who says that it was just four young men has no idea. Connect for the CURE is so much more. A special thank you to all those people Nate mentioned in his blog. Wow I can’t believe it is really over! That feeling of riding to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Ave, hearing the cheers of all our family and friends, and seeing the sea of blue sent chills and a lot of emotions racing through the body. What a feeling to know all that hard work has come to completion. This moment, after 14 months of work was something to be cherished. My first thought was wow they are loud ha, then I realized the support was truly our fuel. That moment was exciting, emotional and impossible to explain without being there. When I got home my mom said to me “Well Ryan, you’re not a baseball player anymore and your not cycling across America. Do you feel like just a regular guy?” I’ve been thinking about that over the last few days and I would say if I have learned anything from this trip (which was a lot) it’s that passion and purpose surpasses all possessions. This summer because of all of you I was given the opportunity to make a small difference. That feeling of doing something for other people and trying to spread hope for a CURE is one of the most rewarding feelings. I don’t want to be just another person. I don’t think anyone does? I want to live with passion and purpose. Whether it’s fighting diabetes, missions, discipline others, working, family, personal relationship with Christ, whatever… my hope is that you too have passion and purpose. Maybe I’m just young and naïve right now, I still have so much to learn; but one thing I hope is to never lose passion for helping others. I want to say a special thank you to my parents, without their love, support, and motor home this trip absolutely would not have happened. God bless you all.

P.S. She did say YES!!!! I’m truly blessed and honored to be engaged to an amazing woman of God who I love, and has put up with me for over six years now.

P.S.S. I know a lot of people are wondering if Connect for the CURE will continue past this year. We will be meeting with the school of business at APU sometime this fall. It will depend on people/ classes and who can take the head position. We will most likely be doing a debrief at APU in an open forum for questions and stories. I will keep you posted when I have dates and times. Thank you all so much.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

-Final Video-

See both 'Final Video' and 'Outtakes Video' in higher quality on the main website under the blog tab.

Monday, August 2, 2010

-The Last Words-

Stay tuned for each members recap of the trip as they arrive home and FINAL VIDEO w/ New York Ride-In exclusive footage.
(final video will be on the website under the "blog tab" and the blog Tuesday August 3rd, 2010)

Recap from Nate Martinez-

First and foremost I want to thank God and give Him the glory as He lead us across this beautiful country we are so blessed to live in.
In these past two months I have been stretched into what I hope might be a better person. And I couldn’t be surer that all the people placed in my path weren’t by accident, but all part of Gods plans in my life. The kindness, and generosity without seeking anything in return lived out by The Rosenhahn Family, Kurica Family, Mamma Gail Akard, Schmidt Family, Adam, all the donated RV parks and hotels, Keith and Margaret Thom, Yuta, David and Bob Berkimer, Feldman Family, Cork, Pastor Trudy and Tony, Grandma Nail, George and Becky McLean, Calvary Chapel Montebello, Ezaki Family, Iowa Family, Granitz Family, Uncle David and so many more that will come to my mind when i need it most. You all have in one way or another taught me something about life whether it was your words or simply by the life you live daily.
It has been my honor to be a part of this team set out to find a cure and inform people across the country of Diabetes; a disease very close to my heart. There was a need for a support car driver and I felt lead that this was the way I could help. Thank-you friends, family, bloggers for your support throughout this journey of a lifetime I will never forget. Your support has kept our inner engines running when we were personally out of gas.

With Love,
Nathan Martinez

Last Words:
“What good is it for a man to gain the world, yet forfeit his soul?” –Mark 8:36

No matter how many worldly possessions we desire, it amounts to nothing if we don’t have fellowship and relationship with others, and with Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 50: Philly Philly Philly.....Next Stop....NYC!!!

Tonight's blog is short and sweet because we have to wake up at 4am in order to make it on time to the Ferry in New Jersey before our final destination....NEW YORK!!!

This is a shot of West Philadelphia where we ate awesome Philly Cheesesteaks at Jim's Steaks!

The Jim's Steaks' Crew who were extremely friendly and welcoming

.....and who could forget

Some delicious Philly Cheesesteaks!!!