Gregory Gramelspacher, M.D., professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and medical director of the Wishard Palliative Care Program, started the ride in 2009 as a 40-day cross-country trek. This year, a Wishard Bike Team of 49 riders will ride across the state of Indiana in a single day — one way, one day, 160 miles. The Wishard riders range in age from 20 to 70 and come from all corners of the state of Indiana. Each mile of this bicycle ride will be dedicated to the memory of a palliative care patient.
Dr. Greg’s Ride to Remember 3 will honor the lives of those cared for by the Wishard Palliative Care Program and their families. The donations to the effort will enable Wishard to provide invaluable support and comfort for the families and friends of patients in the years ahead.
Since its formation nearly 15 years ago, the Wishard Palliative Care Program has worked to improve the comfort and quality of life for all patients who face a life-limiting illness.
Palliative medicine is intended to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness, Dr. Gramelspacher said.
“The goal is to raise awareness about compassionate end-of-life care – especially for the dying poor – and to talk about palliative care,” he added. “Prior to starting our program, I witnessed too many patients die in pain, alone or forgotten. I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way, even for the dying poor. We can – we have – made it better.
“Our work is a labor of love,” Dr. Gramelspacher said.
Established in 1999, the Wishard Palliative Care Program assists poor and underserved patients who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and lack the resources to die with the dignity and compassion that all persons deserve. The specially trained staff at Wishard helps coordinate complex medical care for patients as they face the physical and psychological challenges associated with their illness.
Dr. Greg’s Ride to Remember 3 is supported by the Glasscock Family Foundation and SouthernCare, Inc. For more information or to donate to the ride, call 317-630-6451 or visit www.ridetoremember.us.