Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Moving Day 2014 Donation Link

Click on this link to make a donation in support of the Knight Transportation Delivery Team


We are so very grateful for your support, encouragement, your generosity and kindness.

Carl Ames

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Video to watch!

Carl Ames--Living With Parkinson's

Thank you to my great friend, Diane Stephenson, whom I affectionately have dubbed "The World Ambassador to Parkinson's", as she is the most passionate neuro-scientist and advocate for people with PD. She works at the Critical Path Institute in Tucson,AZ. She is an awesome friend!

Also , thank you to Deanna and Albert for creating this video. You did an awesome job!


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Trip to the Grand Canyon!

Grand Canyon October 2014
Pointing the way!

With Matt Baehr, Brian Baehr, Dan and Cindy Bryant and Joey Gregan at the Grand Canyon
Brian, Dan and I have PD

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Faith/My Family!

The greatest thing that gives me hope and brings much satisfaction to my life is my faith in my Father in Heaven and in His Son, Jesus Christ. The knowledge I have of the plan of salvation that they have created, and that I have been taught and follow by being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is exactly what I need to help me make it through any challenging time or circumstance.  I am grateful for my membership in the church and that me and my family are together in this plan. I am grateful for my wife, Leisa, who is of great support to me, and who I don't always give enough of myself to her.  I love her and cherish our relationship. I love the family that we have created. They are awesome and want to thank them all for the joy and happiness that they bring into my life!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

What impact has Parkinson's Disease had on my life?

Wow! where do I begin? So much to share....here goes!
Around October 2007, while on a visit to Utah with my wife Leisa, her brother noticed something about me that caused him to ask her if everything was okay with me. Apparently my arm would not relax and I would hold it up. Then after returning home to Arizona, someone at church asked me if I had strained my back. Apparently I was not moving as easily as I normally would. Well, it was then that I decided to  have it checked out. After going to a primary care doctor, who referred me to a neurologist, this being around Jan-Feb 2008, I received the first diagnosis of  Parkinson's Disease. That doctor encouraged me to get a second opinion, which I did, and of course then it was confirmed. My movement, my gait, body tightness and rigidity, dexterity, handwriting, all of it was being effected by what I learned was a shortage of dopamine cells being produced by my brain. In easy terms for a simple minded guy like me, I compare that to like an engine not running on all cylinders, or lacking the spark, or connecting the dots, or the brain and the nerves being short circuited causing me not being able to freely move. Crazy! What next?

Well, I remember being told that this was not a death sentence. It was a life sentence of having to deal with a  chronic illness that would slow you down amongst other things.

So, what impact has this had on my life?

It has taught me to never take your ability to move for granted. You may never know when something will effect your body in such a matter that it hinders you from moving partially, completely, or not at all. Too many people take into their bodies things that knowingly can hurt them. Not me....I need every bit of my body to move! I have too much in life that I want to experience in life and not have it effect me with something someone else like Michael J. Fox or Muhammad Ali has.

Since being diagnosed I have probably done more that I ever would have done had I not.
It has opened many new doors to meeting new people and having great experiences. It has made me appreciate my family better for their love and support, my church family, my work family, my neighbors, and even strangers. Strangers? Strangers are no more when they approach  you asking if you need help, and you take the time to explain what is wrong and before you know it you have made a new friend. It is awesome!

My life has been effected by my desire and ability to take better care of myself through eating better and exercising more. I have completed three sprint triathlons, taken up road cycling, which has led me to participate twice in The El tour de Tucson, the Tour de Safford, twice in The Copper Triangle, rode with three different excursions as they rode bikes across country for PD awareness and fundraising, rode my first 100 mile ride with the Friends for Phinney and part of it was over Wolf Creek Pass, and most recently rode with POPS Ride, my good friends who in 2011 rode from St. Augustine FL to San Diego CA, and this year we did Vancouver BC to San Diego in  27 days!

I am involved with the Baehr Challenge, which is a 5K/obstacle course fundraising event for the Michael J. Fox foundation, I serve on the activity committee  for  the Muhammad Ali Center, and am very involved in the Parkinson's Disease community.
I hike, cycle, do yoga, swim, and stay as active as I can because when I move I am free!

I thank my family, friends, employment, therapists, etc. for all that you do to help me live better each day with this disease. What impact has PD had on my life? or maybe it should be rephrased...

What impact am I having on PD?!

"I don’t wish Parkinson’s on anyone, but I wish everyone could have the opportunity to experience the things that I have experienced with Parkinson’s, and more importantly, experience the love, compassion and generosity coming from wonderful family, friends and strangers that I am able to experience these things with!"
- Carl Ames

  1. My cycling friends who joined in support of my 50th Birthday 

  • My son Jordan and I participating in the Copper Triangle, a 78 mile, high elevation, three mountain pass, alpine cycling event held at Copper Mountain Ski Resort near Vail, CO.. This ride benefits the Davis Phinney Foundation, which is a foundation dedicated to helping people live better with PD.
  • A good friend, Joe Berman, and I, created a non-profit foundation called Bikes and Balls for Kids, and we are able to solicit donations and volunteers to help give under privileged children a brighter Christmas.

I met up with the Friends for Phinney in Durango CO, and rode with them for a day, my first 100 mile ride.
Truly something to celebrate!

My daughter, Torie, and I riding tandem in an event for the Oktober Fest held each fall in the Phoenix area.

A local bridge crossing over one of the major loops in the Phoenix area is fun to ride across and I found the structure of it, though not exactly like the Victory sign given by the Davis Phinney Foundation, who encourage us with PD to celebrate even the small victories we accomplish, a upward rising acknowledgement of victory!

I love the opportunity to spend time with my grandchildren, I currently have 3 grandsons and have a granddaughter due in July. My oldest one here, Brigden, and I are playing a game of what is called "Whack the Cracker", where a saltine cracker is attached to a string around your waist, and each player has a rolled up newspaper and you attempt to break the opponents cracker. Brigden and I also have a fun game that we like to play when I can't walk well. If he happens to be visiting and I come home and I can't walk well, he lies down on the floor, creating an obstacle for me to walk over, I step over him, and he keeps moving across the floor with me stepping over him until I get to where I need to be. He loves it, I love it, and I love him! 

I am on the "Walk The Fight" 5K Run/Walk committee for the Muhammad Ali Center located in Phoenix. Each year at the Tempe Town Lake we host it. I am able to participate in not only the planning but the actual run/walk. A great way to keep in shape.

These are just a few of the examples of the positive impact PD has had on my life!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

On the road with POPS Ride! We made it!

Today, Sunday, May 25th,  I am sitting at the computer in the rental house my family is staying in for a few days of family vacation. My mother, my sister and family, and my family and grand kids were all here for our finish in San Diego.
As I unwind and ponder the last month, there is so much to say, and so many new experiences that I would never have had if I did not have Parkinson's Disease.
Who'd ever thought that I would had not been diagnosed with PD I would have such experiences?
I am greatly blessed with a strong support system that sees me off and brings me back!
Thank you to my family, work family, neighbors and friends for your ungoing support and encouragement!
To the many people on our trip who hosted us with either a church, home, hotel, and even a red barn,
 you are awesome! Your generosity was  overwhelming. Thank you!
To our support team, Jerry Hogg, Rachel Baderman, Duane Stutzman, Nathaniel Patton, Kyle Worley,  Mona Amaro, we couldn't ask for a better team. We had everything we needed and you were always there. Thank you!
Shane and Shannon....what can I say? I have great respect for you and want you to know how very grateful I  am for letting me be  apart of this great adventure. Thank you for all that you do to make  things easier. And a special thanks for putting up  with  my big  red suit case!
And Jerry aka POPS, what a great friend you are. You are a tough cookie! Thank you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 22 On the road with Pops Ride

 Wow! I can't believe we are starting the last week of our ride. Alot of miles have been covered and a lot of beautiful scenery we have seen. We have had wonderful hosts along the way and I am so very grateful for each stop and the people we have met. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here and to have this experience. I have never been away from my family for this much time and I miss them. I am anxious to see them this week. I am very grateful for the relationships I have developed with my road buddies of Pops Ride. Great men they are and they take great care of me. A big thank you to Jerry, Shane, and Shannon for the great friends that you are and for allowing me to share this journey with you. I look forward to a lifetime of good times!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Day 14 On The Road With POPs Ride

Today was a rest day for me. It was a beautiful Sunday, Mothers Day. I am grateful for my mom and to Leisa for the great mothers that they are. I love them both so much and am anxious to see them both in San Diego.
I enjoyed seeing the country side today. Alot of beautiful farms, jersey cows, and old barns. At one place when Mona and I stopped a lady approached us and we were talking. She was from Vancouver BC nd was visiting her mom. She said that she her step father had built a tree house on their property and invited us to drive back and see it. We drove down a dirt road o their place and it was beautiful. Such a nice place with trees blooming. They took me to the back yard where the tree house was. It was actually a house on supports built against a tree with stairs leading to it. It was big enough for a full size bed and finished with nice wood. It had windows with a great view. A pretty cool place.
We also went through a town called Ferndale. It was a nice little town with victorian style homes, churches with great steeples, a very cool cemetery, and an old style main street.
It was a great day, I love the opportunity to be here and am very grateful for the Stutzman family for allowing me to do so ad for how well they take care of me. I am very fortunate to have them for my friends. I am impressed with Pop's and his endurance and strength. He is a great example of perseverence.
Tonight we are staying at a baptist church in Rio Dell CA., and tomorrow we get to ride through "another forest", the avenue of the giants. Tomorrow I will be riding for my daughter Jacie. She is a real sweetheart who I think is an amazing girl. I love you Jacie and very proud to ride for her!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 12 On the road with Pops Ride

Today we rode from Port Orford to Brookings, almost to the California border. I rode most the way except for the last 12 miles or so. It was windy and wet, but not wet enough to keep us from riding. We had a beautiful ocean view and plenty of very scenic spots.  After I stopped riding and was with Duane in the support vehicle , we stopped at a scenic point above the ocean and we saw a whale out there. It would stay primarily in one area like it must have been feeding on something but occasionally we would see it come up out of the water briefly.
It was a good day. Duane and Jerry Hogg both ended their support team time. We will miss them both. Jerry has been extremely helpful and I have appreciated him so much. Thank you Jerry!
Duane was very kind and eager to help. It was good to get to know him as

well. Thank you Duane!
Keith Barr joined us this evening and will start riding with us tomorrow for the rest of the time. It will be great to have him with us. Mona joined us as well for a support driver. She is always fun to have around and will good for us. Nathaniel, a friend of Shane's from Flagstaff, has also joined us as a support driver.