Truckee mayor will ride for arthritis cure
August 18, 2005
When Truckee Mayor Craig Threshie jumps on his road bike to pedal from San Francisco to Los Angeles next month, he will be defying the odds.
Threshie’s decision to enter the 500-mile Arthritis Foundation fund-raiser ride comes after a nine-year battle with severe osteoporosis and doctors’ predictions that gave him little hope of getting back on the bike. Now he will take the eight-day ride down the California coast to raise money for the arthritis research that helped him recover from the debilitating disease.
“The Mayo Clinic told me that I was going to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” Threshie said.
But just over two and a half years ago, doctors unlocked the mysterious cause of his disease. And with the help of medications and injections that were developed with funding from the Arthritis Foundation, Threshie has returned to his life-long hobby of road cycling.
Arthritis affects 70 million people in the United States, including 300,000 children. There is no cure, although researchers are hopeful that they are making progress against the skeletal disease.
The annual California coast ride is the largest fund-raiser for the state chapter of the foundation, said Threshie. The foundation is not limited to combating arthritis, but has a broad scope of nearly 120 diseases that are closely related.
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Threshie, who began training for the upcoming ride in June, said he is dedicating his ride to his daughter, Victoria, who also has osteoporosis as a result of years of treatment for her cystic fibrosis.
Threshie’s illness came as a result of a pituitary disorder. He found he had the disease in the last stages of the Donner Lake Triathlon nine years ago. Six kilometers into the running section of the event, a pain in his torso grew until he had to stop running. After being taken to the hospital, Threshie found his back and ribs were fractured in several places.
“I was doing [the run] with three broken vertebrate and two broken ribs,” he recalled.
After recovering from a recent surgery, Threshie said he feels a world different from the years following the Donner Triathlon.
“I have rebuilt most of the bone density that I lost and I have stopped fracturing, which has allowed me to ride,” he said.
In order to make the necessary fund-raising goal for the ride, Threshie must raise a minimum of $2,900 in tax-deductible donations.