BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
KAYSVILLE – For eight years, Meredith Smith has organized Kaysville’s Pedal Away Parkinson’s to help fund research and education on Parkinson’s Disease.
It has been one way of supporting her mother, who was diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago.
This year, her mother was one of the 270 riders to attempt the 10-mile ride that started and ended at Gailey Park in Kaysville on Saturday, July 20.
Others with Parkinson’s, including honoree Steve Matz, also rode their bikes for the annual event.
“It’s neat to see all the people who come out with Parkinson’s,” said Smith. “It’s great for them to see all the people who remember them, care for them and support them.”
Proceeds from the ride, now totaling about $80,000 over the eight years, are donated to the University of Utah for Parkinson’s support and to other research, exercise and education programs.
“It’s nice to keep it local,” said Smith.
A new Davis County support group for those with Parkinson’s and their caregivers is being formed, she said, and it’s a first for the area.
Merrick Jackson was one of a family group that included three generations on the ride.
“It’s a great cause,” he said. “It gives us a reason to spend a little money and support the cause, and a reason to ride and be with our family.”
The community has been very supportive of the event, said Smith, donating gift baskets that were valued at more than $5,000.
The support of the merchants and of the riders is meaningful, according to Smith.
“I am so amazed and so touched by it,” she said.