Dr Randy’s Unforgettable Ride 2.0 Culminates With Para-Athlete Inspiration | New
Spencer Sherwin, 25, a Yucaipa resident, was just an ordinary guy, attending film school in Northern California, when he was involved in a tragic auto collision that left him paralyzed from chest to chest. feet. The accident happened on June 24, 2020. It certainly changed the trajectory of his life. About a year later, Sherwin was approached by a family friend, Tim Evans, co-founder and CEO of the Redlands nonprofit, The Unforget-tables. Evans asked Sherwin to participate in an upcoming bike fundraiser, Dr. Randy’s Unforgettable Ride, using a bicycle suitable for manual pedals. “I called Tom and his wife Meredith (Sherwin) first and asked them if I encouraged and challenged Spencer to adopt the adapted bike – to go on Dr. Randy’s unforgettable ride?” Evans said. Parents agreed it would be worth it. Evans called Sherwin and after a brief conversation he agreed to do so. The Unforgettables The Unforgettables Foundation is a Redlands, 501 (c) (3) -based nonprofit that helps families in the Inland Empire cover children’s burial costs. “We are doing it to give their child a dignified burial,” Evans said. The Unforgettables began in 2000, when Evans worked as a chaplain at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. He saw firsthand the emotional and financial devastation that a funeral could mean for a family. He decided to create the non-profit organization in order to offer assistance to families who cannot afford a proper burial. About 10 years later, he quit his job as chaplain and worked full time at the Unforgettable Foundation. Dr. Randy’s Ride The first Dr. Randy’s Unforgettable Ride was held in 2001. Randy Schell, Unforgettables board member, proposed to the board a 4,100 mile bike fundraiser. Schell first rode his bike from the Pacific coast, north to Seattle, Maine on the Atlantic coast. Evans explained, “The very first year Randy an avid biker came to us and said, ‘I want to cycle across the United States as a fundraiser in 2001”. success for Les Inoubliables. The second bike ride took place 20 years later, hence the name Dr. Randy’s Unforgettable Ride 2.0. One of the reasons for the 20-year hiatus was that Schell took a job at a Kentucky hospital, clearly across the country. Dr. Randy’s 2021 Unforgettable Ride was about 2,400 miles, about half of the original. Schell and his 2021 bike partner, Dr. David Moliterno, began their fundraising hike in late July, near the Canadian border and all the way to southern Mexico, ending in Redlands. For the final leg of the revolutionary journey, Sherwin, along with his father, Dr. Tim Sherwin, and other guests completed the 2021 Dr. Randy’s Unforgettable Ride 2.0 on Friday, September 24th. About 15 cyclists, including Sherwin and his father, met at the ranger station on Highway 38 in the San Bernardino National Forest and made their way to the headquarters of the Unforgettable Foundation in Redlands. Local law enforcement escorted the bikers to their destination. Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh competed in the final leg of the race with her husband, the mayor of Yucaipa, Greg Bogh. “It’s always a pleasure to participate and support local nonprofits that aim to make a difference in the lives of families,” said Ochoa Bogh, after the race in Redlands. “I really enjoyed meeting everyone, hearing Spencer’s ideas, supporting a great cause and of course getting some physical exercise.” Scott Ward, representative for San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe, said he was honored to participate in the bike ride. “I’m a long-time supporter of the Unforgettables Foundation, dating back to the days (when I was working) at the K-Frog radio station. We did one of the first interviews with Tim. Others attended the support but did not ride a bike. Highland resident Pam Bracker said she worked at Loma Linda University Medical Center and met Evans there a few years ago. She said the foundation is inspiring and the bike fundraiser is “a great event. I have never seen a tandem bicycle for a hand cyclist. Adaptive Bike Evans explained that the bike ride was made possible by a tight-knit group of alumni and friends from Loma Linda University. Schell, Tom Sherwin, and Evans attended Andrews University in Michigan and Loma Linda University together. In addition, all men are united in their Seventh-day Adventist religion. Dr. Andy Boyd, who purchased the bike for their late son, Chase, loaned the two-person adaptive tandem bike to Sherwin’s parents. Sherwin started an exercise program and said he struggled through part of the process. “At first I wanted to say no because of my lack of preparation, but I know Tim. He’s a good friend of the family and I thought about the importance of running so I said yes, ”said Sherwin. Another reason for Sherwin’s internal struggle was the fact that he recently lost a good friend, Andrei, to cancer. His decision to participate, he said, “was like a tribute to my friend Andrei. Much of it was still raw. I was even tempted to cancel it, but I did it as a tribute to him. To prepare for the race, Sherwin said he started hand-pedaling at his physiotherapy center in Loma Linda. In addition, to prepare for the ride, he tested the bike with the help of his father and the Boyd family. “My arms were prepared for this,” Sherwin said. “I felt very honored to have everyone involved and coming together to put everything in place. It was nice to do something that frees me up – even though I’m confined to the wheelchair. “I’m glad I did. The way I leaned back in the chair, I looked up at the sky and it was a beautiful day. The clouds were incredible. Evans said he was thrilled with the participation and how each piece of the bike fundraising puzzle fit together. “It was amazing that Randy’s original route was through Big Bear and Hwy 38 to Yucaipa, across from Bryant (street) where Sherwin’s house is in Yucaipa. That’s what told me God was in there, ”he said. The Unforgettables Foundation does more than provide free burial costs for children. It offers free community outreach and education. The next Unforget-tables Foundation event will take place virtually on Friday, October 1 at 9 a.m. Mental Health Advocate The event is free. To register, visit the website. The headquarters of the Unforgettables Foundation is located at 345 W. Pearl Ave., Redlands, CA 92374. For more information about the association or to donate, visit www.unforgettables.org or call 1- 909-335-1600.