Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Honors Patients During Fifth Annual Ride to Remember

State-wide bike trek honors the lives of more than 5,000 patients

CONTACT: Jordan Anderson
Phone: 317.880.4783
Pager: 317.310.5972  
Email: jordan.anderson@eskenazihealth.edu
 
Indianapolis
, July 7, 2014 – On Saturday, July 12, Eskenazi Health Palliative Care and the Eskenazi Health Cycling Team will embark on the annual Ride to Remember (R2R5). Now in its fifth year, the bike trek will raise awareness about palliative care and pay tribute to the Eskenazi Health Palliative Care patients who have died in the past year.
 
Under the direction of Dr. Gregory Gramelspacher, medical director of Eskenazi Health Palliative Care, R2R5 cyclists will ride among the more than 1,000 participants in the annual Ride Across Indiana (RAIN), a 160-mile stretch that runs along historic National Route 40 from Terre Haute to Richmond. You can find out more about the ride and see the route at www.bloomingtonbicycleclub.org/RAIN2014/RAIN.
 
“We ride to raise awareness about palliative care and to remember our patients,” said Dr. Gramelspacher. “We want to educate people about compassionate, end-of-life care – especially for the dying poor – and to let our families know that we have not forgotten their loved ones for whom we have cared.”
 
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the number of patients served by palliative care and hospice in the United States rose to just over 1.5 million in 2012 and has steadily increased each year since its inception. NHPCO also reports the number of palliative care programs continues to rise – from the first to open in 1974 to more than 5,500 programs operating nationwide today.
 
For the past three years, the annual ride has gathered 40-50 cyclists sporting Eskenazi Health bike jerseys and a tremendous team spirit. This year, nearly 40 team members will work together to raise more than $50,000. Once again, R2R5 is being supported by generous sponsorship funds from the Glick Family Fund at the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Glasscock Family Foundation.
 
Each participant who rides with the Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Team is asked to raise $1 per mile for each of the 160 miles of the route, and donations can be made in memory of friends and family.  Each rider will carry a card with them that includes the names of the Eskenazi Health Palliative Care patients who are being honored during this year’s ride.
 
“Prior to starting this program, I witnessed too many people die in pain, alone or forgotten,” said Dr. Gramelspacher. “We’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be that way, especially for our dying poor, and this ride is a true testament to that fact.”
 
Established in 1999, the Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program assists patients who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and lack the resources to ensure dignity and compassion remain part of their final days. The specially trained staff at Eskenazi Health helps coordinate complex medical care for patients as they face the physical and psychological challenges associated with their illness.
 
All are welcome to donate to the cause or cheer on the Eskenazi Health team along the route. To donate or for more information, simply call Eskenazi Health Palliative Care at 317.880.8251, email them at ehsride2remember@gmail.com or visit ehsride2remember.wordpress.com.