We all agreed from the outset of our plan to do Black to Black that we would make efforts to raise donations for a charitable cause as Tom and Woody had done for a Parkinson’s disease organization during their Land’s End to John O’Groats tour. This time around we focus our fundraising efforts on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), an organization dedicated to finding a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and easing the lives of families and individuals living with the harsh lung disease.
This cause is particularly meaningful to Ezra who has been deeply affected by the disease personally. Both his grandfather, Bob Saalfeld, and his mother, Jan Saalfeld, died from interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, and he knows how vital it is that this disease receives more research and clinical attention. We raise money in memory and honour of Jan who passed away just over a year ago on April 20, 2010.
We figure we’re riding close to 3,000 kilometres, so we might as well try to raise one dollar for every klick, making for a grand total of US$3,000. We strongly encourage all of our families, friends and people we meet to donate whatever they can to our fundraiser. Every little bit helps. If you cannot donate at this time, please inform your family and friends who might be able to give a little. Now for a bit of information on what this cause is actually all about.
What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?
IPF is a chronic lung disease that causes the tissues in the lungs to become thickened, stiff and scarred. As scar tissue develops in the lungs, they lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream which results in the brain and other organs not getting the amount of oxygen that they need to function properly. This inevitably leads to organ failure and eventually death. In the US, it is estimated that 128,000 to 200,000 people (4.2 – 6.5% of the population) have IPF, although the number may be higher due to the lack of clinical understanding of the disease. This sickness affects small, but significant, amounts of the population throughout the world and contributing to the cause will help the entire international community. It is almost certain that the prevalence of IPF will rise in the future as people live longer and our living environments become more contaminated with pollutants, so research today may help our loved ones or even ourselves in the future.
IPF is a disease that greatly needs to be researched more so that it is understood better by the medical community and general public. Such research will lead to better treatments of the disease and eventually a cure. Ezra learned that between the time that his grandpa had the disease in the 1970s and his mom had the disease in the late 2000s the only significant medical advancements to treat the disease were smaller oxygen tanks and lung transplants (which have a limited success rate). To this day it is still unclear what exactly causes the auto-immune disease. Clearly more research is needed and your donations will ensure that the disease gets the attention it needs.
How to Donate
If you wish to donate online, please go to our Black to Black Fundraiser webpage, click on the orange ‘Donate’ button and follow the instructions. Our Crowdrise webpage address is:
Alternatively, donate online through the PFF’s webpage at:
If you live in the United States and wish to donate by telephone, please call the PFF at (888) 733-6741. Someone will be able to assist you in making a donation.
If you wish to donate by mail, please print and fill out the Donation Form and send it and your donation to the Chicago address listed at the bottom of the form.
Whatever method you choose to use for your donations, please be sure to notify the PFF that you are donating in honour and memory of Jan Saalfeld for the Black to Black Fundraiser being organized by Ezra Greene, Tom Youngs and ‘Woody’ Woodsmith. Send us a message too so that we can thank you personally!
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you that donates to this fundraiser. It means a tremendous amount to all of us. Every little bit is appreciated. Although we do not have buttons or shirts to offer, we hope that you join us on our trek and enjoy reading our blog as we ride along the Danube. We hope that our trip inspires other people to get outside and be active. Use your lungs to their fullest capacity and keep your body healthy!
Finally, if anyone wishes to know a little more about Jan Saalfeld for whom we do this fundraiser, visit this page to read her obituary written by my father Joel Greene.