This man is biking 6,500 miles to raise $650,000 for Parkinson’s research

As Joe Motz prepares for his 65th birthday, he’s also gearing up for a 6,500-mile journey to raise awareness and support for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Rolling out of my barn, heading 6,500 miles for my 65th,” the Cincinnati, Ohio, resident said.

His bicycle ride kicks off on Aug. 2.

Motz said his goal is to raise $650,000 for the creation of treatment programs in partnership with two local programs: the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness.

“That’s enough to really make a difference here in Cincinnati,” he said. Through additional research funding, the effects could ripple across the country for all those who suffer from Parkinson’s.

The programs would utilize integrative health treatment options to reduce the physical symptoms of the disease.

Joe doesn’t have Parkinson’s himself, he just wants to help others. “My goal is to provide greater access to people with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases to these integrative health services,” Motz wrote on the Gearing Up For Good website. To add, Joe is funding this journey on his own, so 100% of the funds raised will go to research.

He shared the news of his bike ride on the Gearing Up For Good Facebook page:

There are more than 7,000 cases of Parkinson’s in the Greater Cincinnati area, according to Gearing Up For Good and almost 60,000 new cases are diagnosed in the US each year.

Motz said he knows a handful of people from his business family who have cared for, or are caring for loved ones dealing with Parkinson’s.

“Parkinson’s patients will say ‘You know what Joe? I don’t know from one day to the next when I get up, I’ll feel like I’m concrete — I can’t move — I can’t do basic things like button my shirt,’” he said. “‘Then the next day I’ll be okay for a while.’”

You can hear Motz’s story in this video from the WCPO YouTube channel:

Starting Aug. 2, Motz will roll out on a bicycle to begin his ride.

He’ll head northwest toward North Dakota before switching gears and riding southwest toward Los Angeles. The back half of the trek takes Motz through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas before he heads northeast and back to Ohio — sharing his experiences via a podcast along the way.


Motz expects the entire trip to take about 90 days.

“A quarter of a year,” he said.

The day this article was written, Joe had raised almost $100,000. But he still has a long way to go! You can contribute to the cause by clicking here or by sending a check to the following address:

UC Health Foundation — Gearing Up For Good
PO Box 19970
Cincinnati, OH 45219-0970

Written by Paola Suro and Emily Hanford-Ostmann for WCPO.