Team FARA & Outback Steakhouse in Tour de Palm Springs

Tour de Palm Springs
Friday, February 8th  & Saturday, February 9th, 2013
Join Team FARA in Tour de Palm Springs 2013. Choose from 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, 55, 100 mile bike routes through the beautiful Palm Springs, CA while raising funds and awareness for FA research! 

This event sets the stage for a strong year of fundraising for Team FARA which has become a significant research funding effort. Last year Team FARA fundraised over $20,000 in Palm Springs, and we are looking forward to bringing everyone together to exceed that goal and have a great day of cycling.

How to Register 
All participants must first register for the ride at Tour de Palm SpringsThe Ride takes place on Saturday, February 9th.  

Then click HERE to get the Team FARA details and  fundraising page.
Participants who raise $50 will receive Team FARA T-shirt
Participants who raise $500 will receive Team FARA - Cycling Jersey   

Looking to Volunteer? 
Team FARA is hoping to have a strong presence at the Tour de Palm Springs Expo taking place before and during the event- Friday, February 8th - Saturday, February 9th.We have several volunteer shifts available at our Team FARA booth. Come help spread awareness about FA! For more information and to sign-up go to Volunteer Registration

About Team FARA
Team FARA is made up of people around the globe who participate in endurance events on behalf of the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) with the goal of raising awareness and funds for FA research. Past Team FARA members have registered as individuals and groups in local marathons, ½ marathons, triathlons, ironman competitions, bike tours and 5K runs. While they are geographically dispersed, Team FARA is united with the same goal: to draw attention to FA through acts of physical endurance and to support the advancement of FA research towards treatments and a cure for FA.   

About FARA
FARA is a national, public, 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the pursuit of scientific research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich's ataxia (FA)
Join us in beautiful Palm Springs, CA for a fun day of cycling to benefit FA research!
See you there! 
-Jamie Young
  FARA Volunteer & Event Coordinator


NYC Marathon 2012

Congratulations to the Team FARA - NYC 2012 Marathon Team for their amazing efforts this year.  John Lagedrost, Margaret Hay, Lori Pitta, Steve Wisinski, Brian Schutter, and Patrick Hamill fundraised over $20,000 for FA research! While the NYC Marathon was canceled due to Sandy, they showed dedication to the cause by spreading awareness and continued fundraising. Many even went on to accomplish their goal and cross a finish line for Team FARA in a different location.

Brian Shutter – Manchester City Marathon – November 4th
John Lagedrost – Richmond Marathon - November 10th
Steve Wisinski – Veterans Marathon – November 10th
Lori Pitta – Philadelphia Marathon – November 18th

Please visit their Team FARA personal fundraising pages - and thank them for their efforts on behalf of FARA and the FA community!


Chicago Marathon- Viki Peer - October 7, 2012

So, I just ran in the Chicago Marathon and although I didn't run with anyone else, I didn't feel alone because I knew I was part of Team FARA.  I raised (and will continue to raise) money for FARA because of the Suttons.  Eight summers ago I volunteered at MDA summer camp in Illinois which is where I met the Suttons: Jamie, Jenn, and Casey who all have FA (their other brother Mike, although equally awesome, does not have FA). 

Over the years, Jenn and Jamie have become my pseudo sisters.  Camp after camp, party after party, matching tattoo after matching tattoo, from Vegas to Jasper, I love these girls with all of my heart.  Aside from being outrageously attractive, they are hilarious and possess unwavering strength against their day-to-day challenges. 

Next on my list of events to train for: duathlons and triathlons and maybe eventually, The Big Sur International Marathon.  Wherever I go & whatever I do, I will embrace being a member of Team FARA.  : )

Viki Peer


Team Adirondack - High Sierra Trail

Good Luck on Sunday to Team Adirondack!

“I feel Connected to FARA through Dlyan McDonnell and the McDonnell family in Glens Falls, NY.  We were neighbors growing up and were reconnected over the past few years when our dads started playing together in a band (The Marcabes).  He has inspired our Team to get out and do something for FARA; this will be Team Adirondack’s third year participating in the Team FARA Program.

We ended up going with the High Sierra Trail in CA to try to do something big and get people into the event and get them educated.  The trail is ~70miles long and traverses the highest point in the continental US (Mt Whitney 14,505 ft). I got hooked on the trail about a year and a half ago after reading about it in the Backpacker. To get ready, I run and bike regularly and do a good bit of hiking in the Adirondack Mountains.”

-Mike Delsignore


Cogan's Heroes Century Ride

My name is Patrick Cogan, and I have FA! When was I diagnosed? Funny story; I was symptomatic probably around 5-6, I was misdiagnosed at 11 and that mistake wasn’t corrected until my balance got so bad I caved and found a doctor. I was 25!

Immediately following my diagnosis I started putting the pieces together, all of the little ‘odd’ things started making sense; Coughing till I gag (out of nowhere), my legs flinching at night, my hands trembling trying to grab a beverage. It was like a light bulb in my life just was turned on, THEN, came the darkness. Walking issues, fatigue, the risk of heart disease…all the negative possibilities FA brings with it.

Flash back to 2009, I lost my dad to his battle with cancer. In response to this my siblings and I got our mom bike so she could ride out some of her grief. As a team and in his honor, they raised money and rode at the Livestrong charity ride in Pennsylvania in 2010.

In late 2010 I decided I wanted to start challenging myself. My first goal was to buy a recumbent trike. Check! Then I wanted to attempt the 25 mile ride at Livestrong. It hurt, but, I did it.

Then by happenstance and random events that started over a year earlier I applied for and was given a grant by FARA which gave me ‘Bumblebee’.

I applied for FARA’s Ataxian Athlete Initiative grant, never thinking I would actually be chosen. After approaching my friend/trainer, April, about writing a recommendation for me, the game was afoot. A few months later I was driving to a baseball game, and i got the call that would be the cornerstone of growing my cycling career. Not only did I receive the grant, but it covered the entire cost of the Catrike I was hoping to purchase.

That is when I decided go big!!

This disease tells us what we can’t do, what’s too hard, what we’ll need assistance for. I don’t like that! Don’t tell me what I can’t do because I’m only going to want it more and when I get it let the world know!!

SOOOO, that being said I have set athletic goals that I WILL achieve!

  1. Century Ride 
  2. Triathlon 
  3. 75 miles at Livestrong Philly (wicked hilly)
On June 30th I will attempt and complete the first, the century! With my trainers, mother, sister, and another half dozen friends (including Richie Currier and Kyle Bryant) and family we will set out at 5:30 am on completing my first challenge! Not only will there be a dozen or so friends and family by my side but there will be even more waiting for us at my trainers house, our impromptu finish line for a celebration. It may take me 9 hours it may take 12. But; at the end of the day when I’m drinking an ice cold beverage it will be with a hundred miles behind me.


Team Tri 4 Gracie -Team Member Megaera Regan

Two years ago I found out that my friend's daughter  had been diagnosed with FA.  Hopper and I have known each other since we were teenagers at camp.  He and my brother, Phil, (also a member of Team Tri 4 Gracie), were tent mates for years at Camp Acadia, while I attended the sister camp, OLL, in the '70's and '80's.  Since 1992 a group of us have gone camping once a year near our old camp grounds in the Catskills.  We have gotten to know each others' children during these time.  It was heartbreaking to hear about Gracie's diagnosis -- we had known her since she was a toddler.

Hopper told us about FARA, and his own fundraising endeavors.  This got our wheels turning.  Since we ourselves were just getting into triathlons, why not attempt to raise money and awareness at the same time?  Gracie and Hopper hold very special places in our hearts, and we want to do anything we can to help.  This year, we plan to dedicate all of our triathlon's to Gracie, and hope to raise $2000 for Team FARA.  Please support us in this quest! Click Here for Team Tri 4 Gracie Fundraising Page

Our itinerary, to date:

June 17th -- Long Island Gold Coast Triathlon (Long Island, NY)
July 15th -- Mossman Sprint Triathlon (Norwalk, Ct.)
August 5th -- Niantic Bay Triathlon (Niantic, CT
August 26th -- Park City Mossman Triathlon (Bridgeport, Ct.)
September  8th -- Dave Parcells Madison Triathlon (Madison, CT)
September  16th -- Hammerfest Triathlon (Branford, Ct)


Tour De Palm Springs Sponsor: Lazy Dog Cafe

Lazy Dog Cafe is a relentless supporter of FARA and we are proud to have them as our Tshirt sponsor for Tour de Palm Springs. Visit one of their Southern California locations and show them the support they are showing for Team FARA!