Thursday, September 12, 2013

4 to 500+

People who know us well know that long before Dennis’ accident, there was a Team McGorty. It was a term we used with the kids to help them understand that sometimes it’s about them, and sometimes it’s about the team—the family. This came into play in situations like Saturday mornings when going to Home Depot or the supermarket didn’t seem like the most exciting outing, so we’d explain, we need to do these things now for Team McGorty, and then this afternoon we’ll go to the playground, pool, etc.

A few weeks ago Declan, our five-year old was having a rough day. We had moved, there were lots of things to get done, lots of change, and it was a hard day for him. I reminded him that we needed to do the things we were doing because it was important for our family, Team McGorty, and reminded him of what a special role he plays in that team. I went on to share with him how lucky we are, our original Team McGorty—mommy, daddy, Declan and Lorelei—had grown from 4 to almost 500. His mood instantly turned around. He was all smiles. It makes me, Dennis and Lorelei smile too.

Throughout our journey since the accident, people have commented that we are strong, but the truth is that it’s our team, all of you, who give us the strength to not just focus on the day to day, but the big picture—to defy expectations for Dennis’ recovery and treat it as a mountain to climb versus a life sentence.

We are grateful and want to say thank you. Our journey is just beginning and we are honored to have you on it with us.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The World Isn’t Flat

Dennis has been home from Kessler rehab for a few weeks now. We were warned by many that the hardest days after being paralyzed aren’t when you get the diagnosis, it’s those first days home. This rang true. It’s when you are ejected from the bubble of people caring and catering to you, and returned to a world that you once walked through with ease, that you realize that you are now living in world that is not built for you. There are band aids here and there to try and make things a bit easier, but overall you are now an outsider, an instant minority, you need to find your own workarounds for almost everything, because no one else is going to do it for you.

The good news is that it does get better. It’s not the “every day will get a little bit easier” that people like to tell you, but everyday we do get more acclimated, a little smarter on how to do things, and a little stronger. The thing that would break you the day before becomes a more natural fiber of your day the next.

We’ve learned and experienced much in the last few weeks. A few of the biggest eye openers:

The world isn’t flat. When Thomas Friedman wrote the “World Is Flat,” he definitely wasn’t sitting in wheelchair. If he was, it would have likely been retitled “The World Is Riddled with Potholes, Uneven Sidewalks and Unusable Ramps.” For any daredevils out there, forget skydiving. If you want to get your heart racing, trying navigating the sidewalks of Cranford or Westfield in a wheelchair. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Paralysis isn’t misunderstood. It’s not understood at all. I think this partially fuels the first problem. People don’t understand the issues—medical, tactical, emotional which makes it hard to help solve them.

A few of the many myths:

Being paralyzed means you can’t feel anything. While it’s true you often can’t feel touch, heat, etc., you can feel pain, not phantom pain (as people often quickly conclude as soon as they hear this), real pain coming from nerve damage, spasms, etc. Your body has been short circuited. It flares up trying to make a connection that it can’t make and the result is searing pain when the body can’t satisfy the signal.

Paralysis simply means you can’t move. That is just one symptom—the one that people see. There are many and they are serious. They are lumped into a classification of “secondary complications.” For anyone paralyzed these secondary complications are anything but secondary. Managing them becomes the focus of your day because they are serious, and only through never-ending vigilance throughout every hour can they be managed. These secondary complications, not the inability to move, are what will land you in the hospital and take a psychological toll often exceeding that of not being able to walk down the street.

One secondary complication is skin breakdown. Normally the body fidgets, even minutely, constantly. This shifts weight and pressure points on your skin. When you are paralyzed, these ongoing micro-movements don’t happen. The skin on your pressure points breaks down—quickly—and once broken it is very difficult and a long road to heal. A great irony is that paralysis lands you in a wheelchair—and that is the absolute worst place for you to be if you want to avoid skin breakdown. Unfortunately, you need the chair to get out in the world and live your life.

The ultimate end game is to be walk again. While yes, walking again is what any paralyzed person hopes for, it’s still just a means to another end of gaining what has been lost—all the life experiences that have been taken from you. The intrinsic human experiences that most of take for granted. For some this might be holding their child. For others it might be the ability to stand at the stove and cook a meal for their family. The experiences lost aren’t a handful, they are many.

Last week we took the kids to the pool. They wanted daddy to come and we are grateful he was able to. When we got there, they waved to daddy and show them how much better their swimming had gotten this summer. But it was still bittersweet. Past years it was Dennis in the pool teaching them to swim. This summer he can’t. If given the choice between being able to be hands on teach the kids how to swim, ride a bike, play soccer, etc. versus simply walk again, Dennis would unequivocally jump at the first. There are experiences that each person misses that far exceed the actual walking—it’s what that ability affords for in life moments.

Lastly, I spend a lot of time playing charades—actual charades—trying to have people visualize why something they are suggesting to me as solution for one of the challenges we face isn’t feasible. When I try to explain to someone why an “accessibility solution” they are offering to make something work for Dennis and our family won’t actually work, they tend to look at me like they are trying to patient with me because they are thinking what they are offering should work. The reality is that what looks okay on paper often doesn’t works in practice. People are especially surprised when they are following “accessibility guidelines.” Another myth to debunk –these guidelines are band aids at best and often don’t accommodate someone in a wheelchair.

For example, we moved into a handicap accessible building as we prepare to renovate our home. Last week I realized that I had been with Dennis each time we left or returned to our building and that I had always opened the door for him. It dawned on me that the way the door was designed, there would be no way he would be able to open it on his own—the angle would be too awkward for him to be able to lean forward, try and pull or push it open.

I made the request to the building to adjust the door, explaining why the current door wouldn’t work. They were confused. It should work. They did what they were supposed to. They had followed accessibility specs. They tried to show me (standing up) “how Dennis could open the door.” I began doing charades of why that thinking was flawed.  “Well, Dennis will be opening it from about this height. You are directly next to the door, he will have a few feet of himself and the chair between him and the door so it’s harder to get leverage the weight of the door…” They were still confused.

When I start recounting this exchange, people start getting upset. “How dare they! They should know better! Aren’t there laws in place to make sure things like this don’t happen!?” But the truth is that the people that run our building really do care. They thought they had done the right thing and followed the design that they needed to. They truly were just dumbfounded that it hadn’t been enough.

It was only later that day when they asked Dennis to come downstairs so a team (!) of people could watch him try to open the door that they understood the flaw in their design and their thinking –and understood it immediately. They are putting in a button to automatically open the door in our building—and future buildings they are constructing. They thanked us for pointing this out to them. They didn’t comprehend that there was shortcoming until they saw someone in a wheelchair trying to use what on paper was handicap accessible.

This episode had a happy ending, but it still makes me sad. I have a lifetime of experience being, ahem, persistent to get what I want. The building management was eager to help us. And it still was so hard—just to put in place a way that my husband could come and go from the building where we live. Most people don’t have these two sides of the equation working for them, which means vast majority of the time the outcome will be less successful.

When I pray it’s always for hope, strength and healing. But understanding needs to be added to that list. I do believe that people want to do the right thing. They want to assure the best quality of life possible not only for Dennis, but other people also suffering from paralysis and other handicaps. They just don’t understand the full extent of the challenges and the solutions needed to make this possible.

Team McGorty

"It doesn't matter where you are in life, it's who you have beside you." - Anonymous

Friday, August 16, 2013

Team McGorty Racing Jersey

We are VERY EXCITED to debut the first edition Team McGorty racing jersey. The logo and jersey design were brilliantly done by our fellow Team McGorty member, Rich Montminy with collaborative input from Dennis (y'all knew Carolina blue would be in there!). A special thank you to our friends Tom Dunn and Sam Cooper at Hilltop Bicycles for all of their help with the printing.

Team McGorty Race Jersey
The first edition jersey is $100 with all proceeds going to the McGorty Family Fund. We are printing in limited quantities, so if you'd like one for Gran Fondo or the NYC Century on 9/8, please place your order by EOD Sunday, 8/18.

Orders can be placed via WePay @ ( by making a $100 donation ($110 if we'll be shipping it to you). The jersey is a "club cut" just like the summer Hb jersey that many of you are familiar with. Sizes are XS-3XL and in men's and women's cuts.

When placing your order, insert the following info (message box opens on last screen of WePay):
Team McGorty jersey
Size:______ (XS-XXXL)
Cut: _____ (Men's or Women's)

All jerseys will be ready for pick-up sometime that first week in September at Hilltop Bicycles. Anyone who is not local should make a donation for $110 ($10 to cover shipping costs) and we'll send it directly to your address.

FYI, a TM t-shirt will be coming out soon for all of the please stay tuned!

As always, thank you so much for your support. We feel so fortunate to have such an amazing team behind us!

NEW Team McGorty Logo

We are VERY excited to unveil the new Team McGorty logo! The design was created by our friend, Rich Montminy who donated his time and talent to create the new brand as well as the soon-to-be shared TM jersey. We are so grateful, Rich. Thank you SO MUCH!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Please join in the NYC Century Bike Tour on September 8th, 2013 and ride for Team McGorty!

Great for families and avid cyclists alike, riders of the NYC Century Bike Tour have the option of riding 15, 35, 55, 75, or 100 miles...and the best part is that 100% of all race entry fees for registered Team McGorty riders go to The McGorty Family Fund!

In lieu of the online race registration, all riders who wish to join Team McGorty are asked to donate a minimum of $65 to The McGorty Family Fund via WePay. Register NOW at and use WePay to pay make your donation (not via the NYC Century Bike Tour page). When registering via WePay, please include a note on the third/last page of the WePay donation process (e.g. NYC Century Bike Tour Registration Fee). Riders will then receive a follow-up email with additional information regarding race day and logistics.


For more information about the NYC Century Bike Tour, click here:
For more information about the NYC Century Bike Tour Map & Route Descriptions, click here:

This event is sponsored by Transportation Alternatives (NYC's leading transportation advocacy organization); however, a VERY SPECIAL acknowledgment must go out to Leila Mady who has coordinated the fundraising opportunity for Team McGorty. Leila is a medical student at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and met Dennis and Anita during Dennis' stay at University Hospital in Newark. An integral part of Team McGorty, we are so grateful to have Leila on our Team!

If you have any questions about the event, please email Leila Mady (

FYI, there will also be a jersey available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting Team McGorty. Stay tuned for more details.

As always, thank you for all of your continued support!

Disclaimers: This is an unofficial organized ride and rider's participation is 100% voluntary, Team McGorty, Transportation Alternatives, and or Leila Mady are not responsible for any injuries resulting from accidents, altercations, natural events (wildlife, domestic animals), or weather.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Novena for Dennis - Please Join Us

There will be a novena for Dennis starting July 18 at 7:30 am. Novenas are a series of prayers said by a group for nine days straight, at the same time each day, and with a specific intention. Details for this novena are as follows:

St. Thérèse, "The Little Flower"
When: starting Thurs, July 18 at 7:30 a.m. Specific prayers to be said each day of the nine days, at the same time each day.

Where: to accommodate for distance, there is no specific gathering location for this novena. Those who'd like to take part can do so wherever they are.

Intention: strength and healing for Dennis McGorty and his family.

Prayers: we will be praying the St Therese The Little Flower Novena.

Prayers for each day can be found here:

We would be so very grateful to anyone who could join us in this effort. There is power in numbers, and we know that our Team is strong.

Thank you everyone for your continued support, love, and prayers!

Monday, July 8, 2013


A few days after the accident Dennis and I made a pact to be the crazy people. In fact, we even pinky swore on it. We made a vow to see this as a road to recovery and figure out a way to come back regardless of odds or absolutes that were presented—and without regard for how crazy people would inevitably think we were for thinking it was possible.

If I had any reservations on whether or not I was holding up my end of our “crazy” bargain, I felt confirmation last week when I found myself hiding in our shower. Dennis had just called to let me know there were reports of a tornado in our area. At Kessler where he is doing his rehab they had brought everyone into a designated safe area. He had called to let me know to do the same. I hung up the phone and panicked. I had no idea where in our house to go in case of tornado. You don’t have these drills growing up in New Jersey. And I was in the middle of packing up our house so we can move out and renovate the house. Stuff was everywhere. Everything we ever owned suddenly looked like a boulder that would do me in if a twister came through. Then I thought of the shower stall. I ran to it and crouched down. Terrified I hung out there for about 30 seconds. I then got up, grabbed an empty moving box, my Surface, phone and car keys and headed back to my shower/tornado shelter.

My thinking was I needed to be able to check local reports of what was going on, possibly simultaneous to making a call, have something to cover me from hurled objects, and if for some reason I needed to get out of there quickly, I had my keys in case I decided the best thing to do would be to run for my car. All likely flawed thinking in one way or another if in fact I was faced with a tornado (which luckily it turned out I wouldn’t be that day). What I did takeaway from that experience was that when faced with a crisis, give yourself a minute to FREAK OUT—and then quickly move on to making a plan—even, or depending on the situation, especially, a crazy one.

For now, our plan is to be vigilant about getting smart on a new world of different studies, experts, approaches. It’s a manic mad dash to try and learn everything, synthesize the information overload, and make decisions of where to put our focus. Nothing is as simple as a medicine or a surgery. Everything is a multiyear investment with heavy dose of leap of faith versus hard data on what would be the best option. Talk to six different experts and they will tell you six different things as to what is the most promising up and coming thing. You spend everyday rushing around trying to manufacture a miracle. At the end of each day it’s unclear whether we’ve moved forward on that front or if we’ve just been running around in circles, right back where we started. It’s definitely enough to make you feel crazy.

But that’s okay. We’ve found that crazy can be infectious. With many of the doctors, advisors, etc., we speak to they often ask “why do you…ask that question, need that report,” and so on. Our answer is always the same. “Because you are about to be a part of a success story.” They smile and then oblige every time with another piece of the puzzle we are trying to put together. We will hold up our end of the bargain too—with a successful outcome for us all.

As for this week, we begin another chapter. Dennis comes home this week. He leaves Kessler tomorrow and is coming home to our new, albeit temporary, home. The family will be back living together for the first time in eight weeks. The kids are thrilled that daddy is coming home and they break into a 10-minute dance celebration every time one of them brings it up.

From there it is on to outpatient rehab, starting next week. For Dennis, more working out, more opportunity to fire up the inner warrior, and for both of us, new opportunity to bring to life our pact to “be the crazy people.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crushing it!

Dennis crushing it yesterday at therapy. Completed one hour in the standing frame (a very important and typically slow-build tolerance machine)! Prior record: 15 minutes.
Dennis continues to take his rehab to the next level at Kessler. Keep up the awesome work, Dennis. We are so proud of you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Catastrophe & Hope

From Anita:

In going through a pile of mail from the insurance, doctors, hospitals, etc., I came across one document that referred to the accident as “catastrophic.” I can’t get that word out of my head. It bothers me every time I think about it. It is bizarre reading in black and white that someone, somewhere looked at the data points and decided to make that delineation about your life. Luckily we are all more than the sum of our data parts.
Team McGorty

I don’t see our situation as catastrophic. By definition catastrophic means something that causes ruin. By implication, it suggests something has occurred that is too big to come back from. Both are wrong.

We have been lucky over the past few weeks to meet some amazing people who have given us hope that Dennis, and our family, will thrive. This hope comes not just in words but in how these individuals have lived and pushed themselves further than others thought possible. They have given us the courage to believe recovery beyond expectations for Dennis is possible too. It won’t be easy, victories will happen over years, not days, but it is something to strive for.

Among those that inspire us and give us hope are Janne Kouri and his wife Susan and their non-profit, NextStep, which provides progressive community fitness, health, and wellness facilities for people with mobility challenges. I was lucky enough to meet them at the Next Step benefit earlier this week. I could go on and on about them and what they have created with Next Step, but I think this clip from Good Morning America tells the story best: Very inspired, hopeful, grateful.    

Please show your support for NextStep on facebook!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Proud Father and Son

As we all know, milestone moments in our children's lives are precious beyond words.  On Friday, the McGorty family celebrated Declan's pre-school graduation.  Those of you that know Dennis well know that nothing would have kept him from being there!   You can see for yourself by the look on both of these faces how proud they are of each other!  Happy Father's Day to Dennis and to all of the amazing Dads that give their sons and daughters so much love and courage.  

                                                                         Photo courtesy of Abigail Thomas Photography

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Redefining Victory

From Anita:

In rehab they teach you to redefine what a victory looks like. For anyone newly paralyzed, victory and recovery is one thing: to walk again. But it’s not that simple, the road is long, and the odds aren’t good. In case you don’t catch that the first time, you are told this over and over to ensure it sinks in.

You need to redefine what a success looks like, because with a ton of hard work, prayer and a miracle or two, you can get somewhat better than you are today, but there is no quick fix, no cure, no guarantee. 

To understand what is and isn’t working and why, you are given an overview of the spine. Every vertebrae has a specific job to do. It operates like this from the top down:

·         Cervical (C) 1 and 2 control the head.
·         C3 and C4 help you breath.
·         C5 controls muscles like your shoulders and forearms.
·         C6 moves your wrist.
·         C7 is in charge of the triceps and straightening your elbow
·         C8 bends your fingers.
·         Thoracic (T) 1 lets you spread your fingers.
·         T1 - T-12 controls your chest and abdominal muscles.
·         Lumbar (L-1 thru 4) bends your hips, your knee and moves your thighs.
·         L5 wiggles toes.
·         Sacral (S) 1 points your foot down.
·         S3- 5 controls the pelvic muscles.

Wherever your injury is, Dennis is Thoracic/T-11, you lose function of the circuit below that vertebrae. What you work for every day is to not only gain strength, but to regain ability to do something that you couldn’t do the day before, even if you need to do them in a new way. And if you work really hard and are very lucky, you might get some feeling or function back in a part of your body controlled by a vertebrae closest where your injury was. Each time you can do one thing you couldn’t do yesterday, it is a victory.

Earlier this week I met a woman whose daughter is also a patient. She tells me her daughter’s injury is C5 and with a smile gives me a look that means “so close.” I am now able to understand what she means: If the injury would have been one vertebrae down, her daughter would have had some use of her hand that would have given her an exponentially far better level of independence. If someday she is able to just regain use of her wrist, if nothing else, it would be a triumph. Dennis and I look for our triumph and for this week we’ll take our first victory in getting there.

Dennis’ injury was severe. It’s a complete injury which means there is no (versus just not enough) nerve “electricity” getting to his legs. Earlier this week they tested Dennis for a special electrode therapy anyway. Rare but possible for his type of injury, they can sometimes simulate the current through the legs and from there they can manipulate your legs to move on an exercise machine. Specifically, they put you on a bike, hook up electrodes and are sometimes able to make your legs peddle. Dennis responded positive to the test and did his first session yesterday.

The current they were able to simulate doesn’t have correlation with getting activity back in his legs on his own, but it’s significant because it means he can keep his legs—and the rest of him—much healthier as far as bone density, cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and more. It also buys us time by keeping him in better shape for what’s on the horizon—for a cure that is close but not here, for new and progressive rehabilitation options. It is a victory.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ride for Team McGorty this Father's Day!

A HUGE thank you to MAPSO Tri Club! 

We have just learned that the 8th Annual Father's Day Century Ride will be in honor of Dennis and Team McGorty.  Below is a note from Owen Moore (event organizer). If you would like to join them, please email Owen directly ( or RSVP to Jeremy Beer via Facebook here:

From Owen/MAPSO:
MAPSO's 8th annual Father's Day Century Ride in honor of Dennis McGorty, a fellow athlete, cyclist and father of two children who sustained lifelong injuries from a cycling accident involving a landscaping truck in Westfield two weeks ago.

Each year, riders ask if they can make a contribution towards the expenses put out for the FDC, each year, while grateful for the offer, MAPSO declines. This year MAPSO is making an exception, and a request.

MAPSO is asking all riders to make a $25 or greater contribution to Dennis and his family. Here is the information,

If you plan on riding, please confirm your participation so MAPSO organizers can ensure we have enough beverages and snacks for all of you hungry / thirsty cyclists.

Please forward this email to any rider who may want to join us on the 16th, this includes our friends at Essex Chain Gang, Hilltop Bicycles, and High Gear Cyclery.

Here is the essential ride information.
Start Time: 5:30 AM
Location: High Gear in Millburn
Route: 101.7 miles,

Heading out of Essex, through Union, Somerset, Mercer and Morris counties
Sag Wagon-Provided by MAPSO Multi Sport and High Gear Cycling (Thanks to John, Bryan, Andrew and Nick)

Supplies: Water, Vitamin Water, Gatorade, bananas, watermelon and cliff bars available anytime on the sag wagon.

-Rest stop 1: Mile 39, Princeton, Panera Bread,(609) 683-5222, M/W bathrooms, multiple food options

-Rest Stop 2: Mile 61, (if needed) Neschanic Bridge Park (no restrooms), Sag Wagon supplies

-Rest Stop 3: Mile 75, Pluckemin, Annie's Deli ((908) 658-3354) single bathroom, food, supplies (there is also a Burger King adjacent for more bathrooms )

-Finish: 11:30-Noon, St James Gate, Maplewood, bathrooms, pints and food

Notes regarding the course:
1. All riders must wear helmets
2. Bring a phone, money, ID
3. No headsets, headphones, ear buds or playing/singing of Black Eye Peas songs
4. Road Bikes - please avoid using TT bikes
5. The climbs are not steep, the net is 2657 ft. VERY FLAT!
6. At mile 25, we begin a 10 mile flat along the river, nice road, no shoulders, so a pace line is recommended for the occasional cars
7. The descents are long, and the one beginning at mile 58 is in a state park and has multiple curves and no shoulder for two miles
8. Go to High Gear Bike shop soon (before 6/15) and double check your equipment, especially your brakes
9. If needed, at 5:00 AM, MAPSO will make a weather call announcing delayed start, reroute or cancellation through the Google groups

-This is an unofficial organized ride and rider's participation is 100% voluntary, MAPSO, High Gear, Nick Burton and or Owen Moore are not responsible for any injuries resulting from accidents, altercations, natural events (wildlife, domestic animals), or weather.

-All riders are 100% responsible for their own preparedness including health, capability, equipment,obeying traffic laws and transportation home if stranded.
(example: Dan Michalchuk, broken wheel, 50 mile mark in Califon, NJ in 2007, we left him)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Truly Amazing Week

Likely, many of you are tracking the generous donations to the McGorty Fund via Here's an update after an amazing first week:

So far (on WePay alone) in just ONE week, we've generated $22K+ from 142 wonderful donors!

Please keep the momentum and share the link to the fund with your friends, family, and community. Every little bit makes a big difference for the McGorty family. 

Thank you all for your support and generosity!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cicadas & Strength

From Anita:

The cicadas have been here for weeks. They swarm the entranceway to our house, the ground, the trees, the columns covered in them. Whenever I remember this time, I will remember the cicadas.

Every day I sweep them off the porch and the columns. I put away the broom and by the time I look back out, some have already come back, regrouping where I just cleared off. It seems the billions of cicadas in the northeast have decided our house is their mecca, flocking here en masse.

I have to believe their arrival is not plague, but promise. I’ve learned that many cultures hold cicadas as a symbol of resurrection and rebirth. We’ll take that.

Dennis continues to work hard at rehabilitation therapy. He gets stronger each day. Yesterday he wasn’t feeling great and was given the option to skip therapy. As you can imagine, the answer was “no way” and he powered through even though it was clear that it was the toughest session yet.

He is working hard and is motivated by the love and support of you all. 


Friday, May 31, 2013

An update from Anita & Dennis

"Good progress in the past few days. Dennis was transferred from the hospital to in-patient rehabilitation at Kessler on Wednesday, on the evening of his 43rd birthday. He was there only 15 minutes when a concerned nurse came to the door and said “you have 25 visitors.” The Hilltop Bicycle guys had taken their Wednesday night ride to Kessler to say “Happy Birthday.” Amazing.

Today the real work on the road to recovery began. Three hours of therapy a day for the next couple months. Dennis worked hard and made some progress in his core stability and upper body movements during the first session.

As always, thank you all for your notes, thoughts, prayers, and support. They help. We are overwhelmed and inspired by the interest that people have shown in Dennis’ recovery and the kindness to our family at this time."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birthday Ride to Kessler

Last night, a group of guys rode from Hilltop Bicycles (Hb) to Kessler to wish Dennis a happy birthday.
Happy Birthday Dennis!

As the story is told, Ed Coad went into the lobby and told the woman at the desk that there were a few people waiting to see Dennis. Upon asking how many, he said "Oh...about 20 or so..." Ed then motioned to the group... and in they came.

We're fairly certain this was a first for Kessler. :)

Packing into the elevator to make their grand entrance
We wish we all could have been there. What a special night.

Happy, HAPPY Birthday, Dennis!

You handsome gents are quite a crew! Many thanks to Big Mike (Stultz) for taking the pictures. These pics will no doubt have all of Team McGorty smiling. :)

The Hammer Ride Fleet

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

McGorty Family Fund

For those of you who have asked about donating, we have created the McGorty Family Fund to help provide an avenue of assistance for those who wish to contribute:

100% of the donations collected via this campaign will be disbursed to the McGorty Family. We expect the funds to be used for medical expenses, or other appropriate expenditures at the family's discretion. The McGorty Family Fund is coordinated by friends of the family, with the approval of their representatives.

You can donate in two ways:

1. Tax Deductible Donations via their Church:
You may donate by mailing a check payable to "Holy Trinity Church," with "McGorty Family Fund" in the "notes" section to:
McGorty Family Fund
P.O. Box 892
Chatham, N.J. 07928

This option works best if you are eligible for company matching, or for tax deductible purposes. We will update the site weekly with how much is raised through this route.

2. Online via WePay:
You may also donate via WePay for direct donations online. This option is not tax deductible at this time, and payments will be sent directly to the McGorty's for their medical expenses.

Thank you for your continued support!
Team McGorty

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

McGorty MealTrain

Many have asked how to help. The donation page is underway (will send link ASAP). In the meantime, if you'd like to help with a meal or visiting with's a link to the McGorty MealTrain (please log in to access):

These notes are on the MealTrain site...but figured I'd share them here as well:
  • FAVORITE MEALS: Anita didn't specify any of her favorites...but as for the kids she said they eat all meats and even shrimp (no other fish). They eat veggies (preferably raw) and some favorites are broccoli, carrots, green beans. Of course the kids love plain pasta and mac n' cheese. And they love fruit salads might be nice.
  • LEAST FAVORITE MEALS: None specified
  • DROP-OFF TIME: 5PM - 6PM. We have a "Team McGorty" cooler in the backyard that folks can use to deliver meals in case she isn't there. Please bring an ice pack with you just in case.
  • ADD'L NOTES: Please try to put foods in containers that don't need to be returned (e.g. disposable aluminum pans, plastic ware, etc).
Thanks so much for all of your support. Please keep sending your prayers.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Note from Anita & Dennis

“Thank you to everyone for your support and prayers. All your emails, calls, and texts have brought comfort and they help more than you could ever know.
I know people are eager to know the extent of Dennis’ injuries and how his recovery is going.

Dennis’s spine was significantly injured in the accident, leaving him paralyzed below the waist. He had surgery a few hours after the accident to piece back together the bones of his spine, but there is no surgery at this time to repair a damaged spinal cord, which in this case was also greatly impacted.

Many people have called this accident tragic and there is no doubt that it is, but there are also miracles in this situation too—and I think that is important to recognize as it’s brought into perspective.

Miracle one: he is alive. It defies logic that a person could go through what he did, be pinned under a vehicle, and survive, but he did.

Miracle two: the impact of the accident was great; yet he sustained no head injury. This has shocked his doctors, as it’s rare you get this lucky in these types of accidents.

Keeping this perspective makes us feel very fortunate and grateful.

As for how Dennis is recovering, he is again surprising doctors at how quickly he is healing overall from such a significant trauma and surgery. He is eating and breathing on his own. He has already participated in physical therapy sessions. And yes, he is already making his doctors and visitors laugh with his sense of humor—also miraculously still intact. My favorite: “Can you ask people to visit in breakaways, not pelotons?” Translation for non-cyclists: a few people at a time rather than in big groups.

Given Dennis’ gaining strength, he will be transferred from the hospital to in-patient rehab (Kessler in NJ) right after Memorial Day, where he’ll be for about six weeks.

For what comes next from there we remain optimistic. There will be big challenges for sure, but as cliché as it sounds, we also believe things happen for a reason and choose to see this as destiny and a chance to channel the circumstances into something positive.

The amazing love and support that our family, friends, our doctors, and community has shown has been amazing and helps keep hopeful for the future whatever it brings.”


Message from Team McGorty: We know that everyone is eager to help. We have a webpage underway that will include links to a mealtrain site and donation page. We will send those to everyone as soon as they are ready. Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers.