Wanda's Ride

For: Wanda Roche
Organizer: Amy Ehrenberger
Wanda's Ride (Wanda Roche)
$73,806
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 246 donors
73% Complete

The Story

After having ridden to the top of Cottonwood Pass, a 12,100 foot pass in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, on Day 5 of the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, Wanda was at the top of the world. After celebrating with photos, she and her friends began the exhilerating descent. After just 3 minutes of riding, another cyclist lost control and crashed into Wanda, catapulting her off the side of the road into a ravine below. It soon became apparent to rescuers that Wanda had suffered a serious back injury, resulting in paralysis from mid chest down, along with a fractured right arm. Wanda was airlifted to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood, CO where doctors performed surgery on her back and arm. Wanda will face extensive and costly rehab over the next years to regain her ability to lead an independent life. despite her serious injuries, Wanda remains courageous and positive!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 14, 2017

Posted on August 14, 2017

Thanks to all of the participants and volunteers, Wanda's Ride 2017 was a big success!
Thanks also to those of you who were unable to come to the ride, but donated through YouCaring!

Wanda expressed her appreciation with a speech during Saturday's event:

"Thank you to Ryan’s Grill and Bar for a wonderful lunch.  Thank you to the Fort Collins Cycling Club for your dedication in sponsoring this great ride as the annual Wanda’s Ride.  And thank you Amy for your unwavering friendship.  I love you!  I am sincerely grateful to you all for being here.                

Now I have a funny story to share.

One summer, I decided the kids and I would reroof the barn.  After all, how hard can it be?  With a crowbar and hammer, we began ripping off existing shingles.   Below the first layer of shingles we found…. a second layer of shingles and another and another.  I went and bought a four pronged fork to lift the heavy layers off.  After 4 layers of composite shingles there was wood shake.  I needed a pitch fork to pop them off.  With all the shingles off, it should be straight forward just to lay tar paper and reshingle.  Except …. Under it all was raw (tree) planks with uneven 2-3” gaps between them.  Now I needed to cover the gaps.  Using full sized sheets of plywood was too difficult so I rip cut ¼” plywood to attach over the gaps.   This project just kept on going!!!  It took the entire summer, but I never gave up.

My life is now like reroofing that barn.  Every time I turn a corner, make progress, or uncover another layer of shingles, there’s a new obstacle facing me that needs another tool.  But now YOU are my tools.  I refuse to give up and it is because of all of you, all of you that believe in me and contribute to my adaptive world.  Your support helps me buy that specialty equipment so necessary in my life.

As our kids get older, we take joy in seeing them find their feet under them and doing well in their new worlds.  We feel joy when you hear how well they are doing.  And you can’t wait to make that trip to see them in their world.  To be there to lend a hand to them in some way.  It is pure joy to visit them.  

Well, I didn’t used to see that as a possibility.  I can’t fly across the country and rent just any car.  Hotels may have ADA rooms but only sometimes available and still not everything I need.  Through your belief in me and your support, I took on the project of creating my own way to travel: to take my own housing and necessary equipment with me.  I found someone who was willing to work with me to make a camper outfitted for me.  It has been a slow process of trial and error, and we have worked hard to make it what I need.  

You see, in everything I do, all my needs are specialized.  I need the funds to purchase the different tools to try again, to get up and start again.   You give me the ability to keep trying until I find the right thing.  Your words of encouragement give me strength, your contributions give me hope.  Thank you for being along with me on this journey."

Wanda


Posted on July 11, 2017

Posted on July 11, 2017

Happy Hot July!
It's hard to believe, but the Fort Collins Cycling Club Annual Fundraiser, "Wanda's Ride" is only about one month away! This year's event to support Wanda is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. All proceeds raised at the event go to support Wanda in her continuing quest for enhanced independence and quality of life.
As in previous years, the event includes 3 bicycle routes of varying distance and difficulty level to satisfy every rider. Registration includes SAG support and aid stations while on the ride as well as lunch following the ride. Details and registration are available at:  http://www.fccycleclub.org/event-2201604.

If you are unable to join us for the event, please consider making a donation for Wanda. This year, Wanda has been able to take a camping trip with her family using a custom adapted camping trailer made possible by previous fundraising donations. In the future, she hopes to be able to gain the freedom to travel and visit family and some of the National Parks. In addition, she is planning on attending an adaptive outdoor recreation camp in August and hopes to participate in adaptive skiing opportunities this winter.
Your donations make this all possible for Wanda and she is extremely grateful for your continued support! To view a video of Wanda, please go to:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFEpzbk_OyU.

Posted on August 16, 2016

Posted on August 16, 2016

Our annual fundraising “Wanda’s Ride”on Saturday was a huge success! Thanks to all who participated as riders, donors, and most especially, our volunteers! Special thanks to Ryan's Sports Grill for hosting our lunch and Lee's Cyclery and Velofix for SAG support. With all of our efforts combined, we were able to raise close to $5,000 for Wanda!

Wanda is very appreciative of our efforts and here are her words: 

"Thank you for being here today - for me.

This year I am stronger than I was last year, and far stronger than the year before. With each year that passes, new emotional pains hit me, and I grow past a few as well.

Although the initial physical recovery from my accident has passed, I experience ongoing challenges. As I gain more independence I reach for higher goals - and then I find new things I cannot do. The word can’t was never part of my vocabulary before my accident. And now I ram harder into those things that are obstacles. My spine might be broken, but my backbone isn’t- so even though I take three steps sideways, I shoot for that one step forward.

Sometimes problems I encounter requires specialized equipment and sometimes I need help from others. Many times I require the creativity and talent of those willing to think out of the box to enable something to be modified to allow for my next dream. I am humbled to have been the recipient of assistance from such a warm, generous and reliable group of people, you, my support system.

They say that a word of encouragement during hard times is worth more than hours of praise after success. And here you are, encouraging me as I push through my hard times. The Fort Collins Cycling Club has not forgotten me or left me behind. I am so appreciative of financial support I receive through the FCCC Wanda’s Ride. The proceeds have allowed me to purchase adaptive equipment that has made it possible for me to remain in my home. Ironically, the funds also help me out of the house and into the world. Both are essential to my well-being and my ability to provide support and opportunities to my kids.

Through numerous successes and some setbacks, I have tried to prudently use the funds from Wanda’s Ride to remove barriers I encounter, and thank you for those who understand and assist with that journey. I am lucky to have the continuing support of the Fort Collins Cycling Club, Amy Ehrenberger and the numerous individuals who, as friends, family, neighbors, even strangers have contributed to my efforts to build a life I never anticipated needing to navigate. I am blessed by the organizers and participants in Wanda’s Ride, now in its fourth year.

I am so grateful for your sustaining presence of kindness, generosity, encouragement and love."

Wanda

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