39Weeks the Ride

​We are a proud sponsor of our Med/Surg Nurse Manager John McCormick who is almost midway through his 39Weeks the Ride bike tour benefitting the March of Dimes.

His hope is that this ride will raise awareness that 39 weeks is how long it takes to grow a healthy baby. He's also raising funds for March of Dimes since, even with the best efforts of medical professionals, many babies are born too early and require special care. The parents of these children are uprooted from their plans for a healthy baby and must ‘camp out’ by their child’s isolette for day, weeks or even months before their child is ready to go home.

The March of Dimes provides emotional and financial support for these families so they can concentrate on nurturing their neonatal infant. There is a great need for the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family fund.

AN INTRODUCTION FROM JOHN MCCORMICK

My name is John McCormick and I'm a mid-fifties nurse manager in a small hospital in Southeast Alaska. It rains here, a lot. So getting outside and being active can be tough. After five years here I had gained some weight, nearly thirty pounds. My blood pressure and cholesterol where high, and my test for diabetes was borderline. I needed exercise. Then just before Thanksgiving in 2011 I injured my right knee. By the first week of January 2012 I was using a cane to get around.

After an MRI the orthopedic doctor and his assistant suggested I get a stationary bike to exercise my knee. I had a mountain bike in the garage that had been hardly ridden in the last five years so I got it out, dusted it off and bought a magnetic resistance bike trainer for it. As winter turned to spring I started on the trainer, just a few minutes at a time was all I could tolerate. But the pounds started dropping off and most importantly of all, my knee was feeling better. I had gone from 800 mg of Advil three times a day to only once a day.

As summer rolled around I took the bike off the trainer and hit the road. My first rides were only a few miles at first and I was totally exhausted after just a few miles. But my distances and endurance increased. I had always dreamed of doing a road trip on a bike but never had the time or the means. As I peddled the miles away an idea of taking a bike trip from Washington to my brother’s house in Montana began to take shape.

After I bonked my first time the internet became my best resource for training and preparing for a road trip. Slowly my mountain bike transformed into a hybrid and accessories started dotting my bike, a second water bottle, a seat bag with patch kit and a pump. I poured over reviews of racks, panniers, tents and other gear. Watched videos on YouTube and most importantly continued to train.

I have bought a second road bike that waits patiently for spring and the Seattle to Portland ride in July and the Anchorage MS150 in August.

ABOUT THE RIDE:

While attending the Alaska Nurse of the Year awards in Anchorage I was moved by the March of Dimes’, the awards dinner host, 39 Weeks campaign. It wasn’t until one evening while watching a video blog that one rider inspired me. He had been on one cross country ride but on his second on he raised money for braces for under privileged children. While searching for a worthy cause that would bring more meaning and sense of purpose to my multistate ride I recalled the March of Dimes 39 Weeks campaign. I got in touch with Janie Odgers, the Alaska chair for March of Dimes and we began to hammer out the details of what a fundraiser would look like.

My ride, which will start at SeaTac airport, will be divided into roughly nineteen 39 mile segments. At the end of each segment I will post a true life story about a family that has a child in the NICU. Some of these stories will be directly connected to me, though many will not.

You can sponsor a ride segment, either of your choosing, or randomly. I will include your name if you wish. If you sponsor 3 or more segments you will receive a free 39 Weeks bike jersey. If you live along the route and would like to ride a segment with me come ride along. I would ask for a $39 donation to ride with me for 39 miles. If you donate $117 you can ride as far as you want and I will send you jersey before the ride begins June 6th.

You may be asking, how much money will go to the March of Dime? All of it minus the cost of jerseys and shipping. My ride if fully self funded, the travel, food lodging ect. will be paid out of my own pocket.

What chapter will my donations go? That is your choice. Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana will receive money. If you don’t designate which state you want your funds to go to, it will be divided equally between the four states. 

John McCormick - 39 Weeks the Ride
John McCormick prepares for 39Weeks the Ride fundraising tour.