Longtime Derry resident Susan Mollohan is dedicated to working to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease.
When she learned five years ago that she had Parkinson’s, she immediately started searching for positive ways to deal with her condition, and made the decision to use her condition to make a difference. To that end Mollohan looks at her struggles with Parkinson’s as motivation to keep moving forward with activities to raise awareness about the disease and to drum up financial support for research on a cure.
Coming up on her agenda is her second Bachelor/Bachelorette auction, “Dating with a Purpose.” This fundraiser is held in support of Team SUZY’S Shakers, her biking team for the New England Parkinson’s Ride, the second largest fundraising event in the U.S. for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. This will be her sixth year of participating in the Ride.
The auction will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester. Unmarried persons ages 20 to 60 will be auctioned off for a dinner date with the winning bidder. The evening includes music, food, a silent auction and raffle items. Tickets for the fundraiser cost $15. Mollohan said 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction will go to Parkinson’s research through the Fox Foundation.
Mollohan encourages eligible bachelors and bachelorettes to join her for a night of fun.
On Sept. 6 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine she will take part in her first 100-mile ride. In last year’s New England Parkinson’s Ride in Maine, Mollohan, who is 60 and is the former dean of students at Alvirne High School in Hudson, completed 50 miles on her bike. This year, she’s setting her sights at 100 miles. She said she often has to fight for words, her right hand is not usable and the toes on her right foot are starting to curl under. Despite these conditions she continues on with her fundraising efforts and plans for the ride.
She said she is deliberately pushing herself to do the 100-mile ride and in preparation for it is doing training rides in all the New England states.
Her goal is to get the message out to as many people as possible and “to put a face on Parkinson’s.”
Doing a 100-mile bike ride will be Mollohan’s own personal marathon, she said, noting she typically rides 20 to 30 miles. She knows that by extending the distance, she will be facing additional challenges because her Parkinson’s symptoms often flare up when she exerts herself physically.
One accommodation she has already had to make is switching to a new bike. Unable to shift gears with her right hand on her old road bike, she switched to a hybrid bike model that allows her to shift gears more easily, although it is heavier, less aerodynamic and slower.
For more information on the Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction, visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/746904.