Saturday June 15, 2013

ELIZABETH CONKEY

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- BAYADA Client Services Manager Susannah Saxman arrived safely Friday, June 7, in Hershey, Pa., after a 72-hour journey via bicycle.

Her ride was meant to encourage the community to donate to BAYADA’s Hospice Foundation Fund, a charity that provides financial support to patients and family members of patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Saxman says that the majority of her trip went according to plan, with the exception of the last 95 miles. Fairly heavy rain made the home stretch a bit difficult, according to Saxman. She was elated to have even completed the ride at all.

"I was so tired at the end but the support I was getting from my friends, family and coworkers reenergized me," said Saxman. "It really helped me push through."

Saxman noted that the constant stream of messages she got throughout her trip truly made her feel as though she was not alone in the venture.

"It made me realize why I was even doing this ride to begin with," she said. "I never anticipated the following I’ve developed over the past few months. Everyone’s support means so much to me."

Upon arrival in Hershey, Saxman surprised her colleagues by riding her bike through the company’s annual award ceremony. She was given the opportunity to share her experience with her coworkers in the audience, and, she says, "thank them again for everything."

Thus far, Saxman says that an estimated $1,000 has been raised for BAYADA’s Hospice Foundation Fund, with more money being donated every day.

"This was such a positive experience," said Saxman. "It was fun to share my journey with everyone and to bring awareness to our foundation.

Those interested in donating to BAYADA’s hospice fund can visit the BAYADA Facebook page, where they will be guided on how to make a contribution.