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The Telegram
  • Cross-country bicyclists ride through Mohawk Valley

  • A group of cross-country bicyclists stayed at the Knights Inn in Little Falls Monday night and headed for Albany Tuesday morning.



    Among them was 68-year-old Jeanne Powers, of Haslett, Mich., whose 3,415-mile trip from Los Angeles to Boston has personal significance. She is making the trip to raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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  • A group of cross-country bicyclists stayed at the Knights Inn in Little Falls Monday night and headed for Albany Tuesday morning.
    Among them was 68-year-old Jeanne Powers, of Haslett, Mich., whose 3,415-mile trip from Los Angeles to Boston has personal significance. She is making the trip to raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
    “My great-nephew Blair has CF and I’m hoping the money I raise will help find a cure for this disease,” Powers said. Blair was diagnosed as a baby. “He’s 28 now,” she said, adding that the average life expectancy for a person with CF is now 35. “It’s important to keep the research going.They’re finally focusing somewhat on older patients. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the primary funding source for CF research.”
    “Blair has been an inspiration to me because of the way he has lived his life, with faith and courage and as actively as possible. CF research has advanced to the point where there may soon be a drug to benefit older CF patients like him,” said Powers.
    When reached in her hotel room in Albany after Tuesday’s ride, Powers admitted she was tired. “It’s harder closer to the end,” she said. “There’s a cumulative fatigue.”
    She has been posting her progress on her Facebook page complete with photos she takes along the way. The feedback she receives has been welcome. “People are very supportive,” she said. Her friends back in Michigan sponsored a garage sale and raise more than $400 for CF in support of her ride.
    Powers didn’t know exactly how much money has been raised yet but said, “I know we’re over $5,000.”
    Two more days of riding remained. Today (Wednesday), the group will head for Brattleboro, Vt., before going on to Boston. Then there will be a ceremonial ride to the ocean.
    While Central New York has been hit with some thunderstorms this week, Powers said they finished their day’s rides ahead of the storms.
    “We’ve been really fortunate with the weather,” she said. “There was only one day we had to ride in the rain and even that didn’t last all day.”
    The desert was extremely hot - 116 degrees - during the earlier part of the trip, she said.
    Powers said she would be glad to finish the trip. “I’m so darned tired,” she said, but added, “It will be hard too. We’ve become good friends as a group. It will be hard to break it up. It’s been a wonderful experience.”
    There are some 25 riders in the group including 22 who have come all the way from California. The trip is being coordinated by Crossroads Cycling Adventures. Cycling Adventures. “By joining a commercial tour, I can focus on training for the ride and raising money,” she said. “I won’t have to worry about making any of the arrangements.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by a defective gene, which causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky mucus. Mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas, the organ that helps break down and absorb food. This collection of mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestions problems. There is no cure for CF and it affects about 30,000 people in the U.S. (70,000 worldwide).
    She is paying all of the expenses of the 50-day cycling trip - more than $10,000. “All of the money that I raise will go directly the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” she said.
    In 2008, Powers completed the Great Mississippi River Ride, a 25-day ride with a distance of more than 1,700 miles. In 2011, she pedaled around Lake Michigan.
    To donate: www.cff.org/GiftReg/JeannePowers or mail check to:
    Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Greater Michigan Chapter, 967 Spaulding Ave., Suite C, Ada, MI 49301.
    If sending a check, include: “for JP’s Long Ride” in the purpose block.
    On the Web
    Jeanne’s website: jpsrideforcf.com.
    Follow Jeanne on Facebook at JP’s Ride for CF.
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