Posted by Robert Wicks on Sep 07, 2021
Ipswich Rotarian Keith Harris will soon hop up on his bicycle and tow his faithful dog around 70 scenic miles west of Boston.

Owner of Harris Graphics in Rowley, Keith and doggie Cheyenne will cycle through Lincoln, Sudbury, Acton and Concord to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS.

“If anyone else is so inclined to join as a rider, the course is gorgeous,” Harris said of the Sept. 19 event.

 
Taking part on Team DeGeorge, he has set a fundraising goal of $2,500 and people can find the site to contribute on Keith's Facebook page. “ALS is a truly horrific disease that takes its toll on those fighting it, and on their families. The money I raise can help alleviate some of the stresses they face, and feed the hope that helps them face tomorrow,” he said.

Taking part since 2011, Harris is riding in memory of Lou DeGeorge, who passed away in 2012. He was a fellow Rotarian and also was very active at Sacred Heart Church for many years.
Like Harris, DeGeorge was also an advisor to the Interact Club at Ipswich High School. In her 2012 address, class Salutorian Libby Brown reflected on the impact DeGeorge made on her life.

She and other Interact members went to visit him at home where his deterioration “astonished” her, Brown said. “Despite his body’s decline, he was a happy and excited as ever that we visited and was absolutely glowing,” she said.

“I discovered what an incredible personality and zest for life he had as he was able to find such joy and happiness in his life while his body was deteriorating,” Brown said.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, “is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control,” according to the Mayo Clinic website.

It “often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure for this fatal disease.
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