Kiki MDC

How it All Started… 30 Days to MDC

It’s funny what we remember.

In October 2010, I attended an event called the “CAF Million Dollar Challenge.” One hundred cyclists, each one committed to raising $10K each so that those with physical disabilities wouldn’t be left out. I thought it would be a “one-time” thing, a bucket-list event. I bought a Go-Pro before it was cool to have a Go-Pro.

It changed my life.

It rained.

The song lied. It does rain in Southern California. And in Northern California. Of the 100 cyclists who were participating in this event, more than half of them lived in San Diego. They hadn’t seen rain for ages. They didn’t own rain gear. People were wondering if the event would be canceled. I remember sitting next to Chris Self and Gil Magallanes, both distinguished Army veterans – Chris having lost his leg in Iraq and Gil having half his brain blown off in Afghanistan, looking around and saying, “Guys, it’s just rain.”

We got on our bikes.

On the second day, the soil in Monterey was so muddy it would cake on our shoes and jam our rim brakes. We would stop to try to clean them off.

We rode on.

I couldn’t keep up with the hand cyclists. 

Handcyclists David Lee and Muffy Davis made it look easy. Seriously. As a hand cyclist, you are much closer to the ground. On those wet and dirty roads, they would pull into the SAG stop COVERED with mud and grime. They would smile, and their teeth would be brown. I only saw them at SAG because they were too fast for me. There are a lot of people who think adaptive athletes are “slower” versions of able-bodied athletes. They are all wrong.

The last day came. 

My parents, and sister Janean, showed up to surprise me.  There was more rain at the start, but by the time we finished at La Jolla shores, the sun had come out. I looked around and realized my life would never be the same. I had made friends for life. I discovered an organization that was dedicated to getting people from the sideline to the finish line.

Because I looked over and saw this.

One hundred people had come together to ride and raise over 1.3 million dollars. People had donated $5. People had donated $5,000. It all mattered to the kids in this picture. Could you look closely at the boy in blue? He’s 13 years older now. CAF has created a world where those with physical disabilities aren’t left out of sport and, therefore, aren’t left out of a community. I belong to the CAF community. Hundreds of you receiving this email today have donated EVERY YEAR since 2010. Some of you just learned about CAF this year and donated. And everyone, every year in between. THANK YOU. YOU have made a difference in the life of someone you’ll never meet.

In 30 days, I’ll be back in San Francisco. 

For the last Million Dollar Challenge. There will be a reunion of old friends, laughs, sore butts, “keep the ocean on your right” mantras, and inspirational speakers. Most importantly, there will be another big check at the end that helps make a difference for a challenged athlete. If you haven’t yet donated this year, please join me and click the link below to make a life-changing contribution today. 

Click here to donate.