One Wheel, One Day, One Hundred Miles!

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Michelle's Story... (September 15th, 2013)

"Hi, my name is Michelle Griffith. I am 36 years old, and six years ago I was forced-off the road while driving my Jeep, resulting in permanent paralysis from the waist down. At first, it was really hard to accept, but my angels,(my two sons, Hunter 11 and Dakota 4) have pulled me through and made me appreciate that I made it through and that I'm still alive.

At the moment, I have no vehicle and no funds to get one. A used handicap van would make life so much easier for my whole family. It would also give me some of my independence back. It would be awesome to be able to jump in a van and go see my boys play baseball (right now I only get to see one game a season), take them to the park, and drive myself to my doctors appointments. A van would truly change our lives! Thank you for the time you took just to read my story." 

My brother, Gary Mueller, passed-away in May 2011 due to complications from his paralysis (months after getting his van). I want to honor his memory by continuing to raise awareness and funds for other victims of paralysis, so rideforgary.com will continue. I am training for another 100 mile ride, and all proceeds will go to Michelle Griffith, a local Atlanta resident that has been paralyzed for the last six years.

The Ride for Gary continues until we meet our goal

I've been riding unicycles for the last 30 years, and thought it would be unique, challenging, (and maybe even fun), to do 100 miles in one day on my 36" wheel unicycle to help raise money to buy Gary a handicap-accessible van to regain his independence.

Gary's firefighter brothers thought it might be a good idea to escort me during the unicycle ride in a classic, 30-year-old, fire truck!

Seventeen people,(mostly firefighters), drove-up from SW Florida for the event. The toughest of them made the 1,200 mile round-trip journey in the restored fire truck. This truck was Loud, with no air-conditioning, and not even a radio!

We began our journey at Fire Station #4 in Hall County,(across from Free Chapel Church), at 8am on Saturday morning the 23rd, then headed through Hall, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties, ending up at Engine 11 Tavern in Atlanta, Georgia. Unfortunately, Gary was hospitalized right before everyone came up to see him, so we changed the route and brought the event to him at Gwinnett Hospital in Lawrenceville. Gary got to come outside in his wheelchair and socialize with everyone that drove so far just to see him and support this cause. After a total break of about 4 hours, I got back on my unicycle and pedaled until it was too dark to see, and had to stop short of the 100 mile goal. To rectify that fact, the following Friday, Oct. 29th, I rode 102 miles in 10 hours and 51 minutes.

We had a pre-event and after event party at Engine 11 in Atlanta on Friday, Oct 22nd, and Saturday, Oct 23rd. Everybody had a great time! Engine 11 is over 100 years old, and was a working fire house. Now, it's an excellent restaurant and bar.  Custom shirts were done by Bobby Ratcliff at Direct Effect, Inc. He insisted on doing the work as his contribution to the cause, so,(see the Link page and contact him for any promotional advertising). 

Thanks goes out to the Hampton Inn & Suites, accommodations for all of the out-of-town guests,(and me!), were provided as their contribution to the event. Comfy beds and free breakfast (with waffles!). Great staff too.

Please donate whatever you can afford through the secure PayPal button above. Thank you for your support. God bless you.  

 

Photo above taken by photographer Tom Reed of The Gainesville Times.