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2 men from the northern suburbs are cycling across the country to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease – NBC Chicago

Two men from the Chicago suburbs are on a mission to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease by cycling across the United States.

“We’ll be doing about 70 miles a day, 4,000 miles total, ending in hopefully sunny San Diego on July 3,” said Bill Bucklew of Wilmette, one of the cyclists.

Kevin Murray, from Cary, is the team mechanic and RV driver.

“I’m going to help set up the bikes and make sure everything runs smoothly,” Murray said.

The two men became friends after they were diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.

“I was diagnosed in 2012,” Bucklew said.

Bucklew, 55, is fighting the neurodegenerative disease the best way he knows how.

“We know that exercise is the only thing that slows the progression of the disease,” Bucklew said.

Daniel Corcos is an exercise neuroscientist at Northwestern University who has met Bucklew several times and supports his mission.

“He has a drive and an energy matched by few,” Corcos said.

Corcos is currently investigating the impact of exercise on Parkinson’s.

“The evidence right now is compelling that if you exercise and exercise at high intensity, you can slow the progression of the disease,” Corcos said.

That’s what motivated Bill to complete 11 triathlons and 44 marathons.

He has also walked across the United States and the United Kingdom, spreading a message of movement and hope.

Murray accompanied him on the trip to the United Kingdom.

‘They’ve just taken out the wallet and next thing you know there’s £100 in it. And we didn’t ask for money, we just tell them about the disease and they just want to help. A lot of people say, oh, my grandpa had that, my uncle had that, my aunt had that,” Murray said.

For Bucklew, this latest challenge is out of necessity.

“I started thinking about, you know, I was walking and now I’m having a little trouble running. What could I do? Cycling, cycling across the US, just meeting people every day, trying to raise awareness for the things that can help with the lifestyle,” Bucklew said.

Bucklew plans to ride a special tricycle on loan from Davis Phinney, an Olympic cyclist.

Phinney also has Parkinson’s disease and supports Bill’s mission, which he calls “The Long Ride.”

Donations collected along the bike route will be split evenly between the Davis Phinney Foundation and Team Fox of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.