Doug Oakley, a 46 year old financial services professional who was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is undertaking the “4 Corners Motorcycle Ride” to the four corners of the U.S. on his Harley Davidson to raise greater awareness of, and funding for, the care of patients with ALS.
Victims of this fatal disease progressively lose control of the voluntary muscles of their body. Anyone can get ALS and there is no effective treatment or cure for ALS. But, a Cape Cod based non-profit organization, Compassionate Care ALS, has been helping Oakley and other ALS patients, their families and caregivers to live with this life-changing reality. All donations made for the 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride will go directly to Compassionate Care ALS.
“Since I bought my first Harley Davison 11 years ago, I have wanted to do the ‘4 Corners’ ride on my motorcycle. Last fall, after noticing diminished use of my fine motor skills and muscle cramping in my left hand, I was diagnosed with ALS. This diagnosis has shocked me into realizing that life will not wait until a more convenient time and I am finally going to ride the ‘4 Corners’ with my good friend Paul Zepf,” explained Oakley. “I am doing this ride to not only fulfill my dream but also to raise money and awareness for Compassionate Care ALS. This organization has already made a tremendous difference in my life.”
Oakley will be joined by Paul Zepf, a retired Boston Firefighter who is a 33-year veteran of Rescue Company 2 and a Vietnam Combat Veteran, in the 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride which entails riding around the perimeter of the U.S. and stopping at each of the furthest corners of the country: Key West, Florida; San Luis Obispo, California; Blaine, Washington and Machais, Maine.
Riding their Harley Davison bikes, Oakley and Zepf began the 8300 mile long ride in Key West on May 14th. From Key West, the riders will head to San Luis Obispo, CA then Blaine, WA and on to Machais, ME.
Weather permitting; the entire ride will be travelled in 17-20 days. The pair plan to return to Massachusetts on June 12th.
Compassionate Care ALS will provide updates on Doug Oakley’s 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride on the website http://www.ccals.org/4corners/
Follow the 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride on Doug Oakley’s blog: http://www.ccals.org/4corners/blog.php.
Donations to Doug Oakley’s 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride to benefit Compassionate Care ALS may be made online at http://www.ccals.org/4corners.
Donations may also be made by regular mail:
Checks should be made out to “Compassionate Care ALS” and mailed to:
Doug Oakley c/o Compassionate Care ALS
P.O. Box 1052
West Falmouth, MA 02574
Oakley is a resident of Weymouth and Falmouth, MA and Zepf is a resident of Falmouth, MA.
According to Ron Hoffman, Executive Director of Compassionate Care ALS, “ALS is a life-changing reality for everyone – the patient, the caregivers, family and friends. Our services are meant for this entire network of care. We are glad that Doug decided to take 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride as it was something that he had wanted to do for many years. Any donations made will directly benefit ALS patients and their families.”
About the 4 Corners Ride & Compassionate Care ALS-Gordon T. Heald ALS Fund-
The 4 Corners Motorcycle Ride will raise funding that enables Compassionate Care ALS to assist victims of the disease. The organization’s work is based on deep dialogue around the individual needs of each patient and family, and may include: emotional support, guidance, integrative therapies, contemplative practice, educational seminars, durable equipment, a medicine bag or loan of a handicapped van. In addition, the staff is responsive to a broad spectrum of special requests to help families face the challenge of living with ALS.
Founded in 1998, Compassionate Care ALS has helped more than 520 families impacted by ALS. Compassionate Care ALS (which now encompasses the Gordon T. Heald ALS Fund) provides services to ALS patients, families, caregivers and health care professionals.
The organization has raised more than $1.5 million and driven over 500,000 miles to support ALS families. They have worked with patients, families, communities and caregivers in 24 states.
Jack Childs, Ed.D., Professor/Founder Holistic Counseling Department at Salve Regina University has said, “Research strongly suggests that the immune system is diminished by the absence of a social support system. The personalized care and unique services of Compassionate Care ALS demonstrate that people can be healed without necessarily being cured.”
Compassionate Care ALS mailing address is P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574.
For more information, contact (508) 563-3677 or visit the website at www.ccals.org.