Friday Fundraising

Fundraising is a component of the Death Ride Tour. Each participant is required to raise at least $300 for ALS-TDI. Click here for info about the ALS Therapy Development Institute.

Please click here for my personal donation page. I have 307 Instagram followers and 323 friends on Facebook. I know some of my connections are duplicates, but if each of them gave $1 I would hit the minimum goal. Thank you for considering a donation.

Here is the background of why I am riding and raising money.

My dad’s story – The year is 2016 and my dad moved to Sioux Falls, SD to be closer to family and retire. He was planning a full retirement with relatives, odd jobs and most importantly riding his bike. During that year the unthinkable happened and he was diagnosed with ALS. Obviously many of the things he was looking forward to did not happen. My dad passed away last November from complications related to ALS.

My story – Many memories of my dad growing up involve bicycles. He fixed up my first two wheeler that I learned to ride on, took me shopping for my first mountain bike and was always active on his bike from triathlons to local rides with friends. One of my favorite cycling memories is participating in the Seattle to Portland ride with my dad and my sister. Riding 200 miles together over two days is something we will never forget.

I raising money for the future of ALS research and hopefully a cure.

More about eCARE

I have been at my new job for a week. I have learned so much and am excited to learn more. I have meetings to attend, software to learn and met many new people. Here are some links to help understand more about what I am doing.

Click on each link to find out more about each service line I will be responsible for as an account executive.





Last year was Avera eCARE’s 25th anniversary. Click here for an article in the local paper sharing more about telehealth and eCARE’s history.

Gourmet Club

A few years ago a friend asked Nichole and me if we wanted to join a Gourmet Club. We said yes and it has turned into one of our favorite activities.

Charcuterie plate

There are six couples in the club that get together about every other month to enjoy food and drink together. The host couple picks a theme and is responsible for the main course and drinks. That couple then distributes recipes for appetizers, sides and desserts to the others. We have dined on meat jello, baked Alaska, celery root, leeks, savory soups, many different meats, delicious desserts and foods from all around the world. The drinks have been fantastic also. It does not hurt that one of the members is an award-winning brewmeister.

Mashed potatoes with butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin seeds and brussel sprout leaves

Obviously there has been lots of delicious food over these past few years but the thing that has surprised me the most is the relationships that have been discovered. One rule of Gourmet Club is no kids. This has given the club the chance to hang out as adults without distraction and many of us have shared that the laughter and conversation we share is a highlight. Shortly after my dad’s passing I was surprised to receive a card in the mail with some movie tickets for the family. The card and tickets came from the Gourmet Club. Nichole and I were shocked to receive this but then realized that this group of people has become our friends and the connection we have is much deeper than we expected.

Raspberry chocolate port cake

Gourmet Club has given me the chance to eat delicious, gourmet food but also have great relationships. If you have a chance to comment this weekend, let me know if there is something in your life that took a positive turn you were not expecting?

New Job!

Avera eCARE Account Executive – sounds fancy! As an eCARE Account Executive I will manage the clinical and business needs of Avera’s critical access hospital partners.

As an account executive I will be the main conduit for anything related to eCARE and our partners with responsibility for the specific service lines of Emergency, Behavioral Health, Pharmacy and Hospitalist. I found out last week my regions will be Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

Avera eCARE recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in the telemedicine industry. Here is a brief introduction – click here for more info.

What does Avera eCARE do?

We support your clinicians with a telemedicine team of experts, ready 24/7/365 to assist in care delivery. We help you bring advanced medicine to your community so you can treat more patients in place.

Avera eCARE’s unique model brings services and providers together under one roof, just as if they were in a typical hospital building. The only difference is that we interact with you through advanced communication and video technologies.

How do you benefit?

You’ll deliver better care—and deliver it faster—while improving safety and avoiding unnecessary transfers. In addition, you’re able to provide a better experience for your patients and your providers by giving them access to a network of specialists, who all work for you.

I’m excited for this new opportunity on both a personal and professional level!

Avera Careflight

911MK – Careflight helicopter

Last night was my last shift as an Avera Careflight paramedic. Over the past 3.5 and a half years my job has brought me all over the United States and allowed me to gain experience in so many different ways. I have had the opportunity to be a part of the miracle of birth and the tragedy of death. I have had moments of ecstasy and times I have questioned if the job was really worth it. I have strengthened old friendships and found new ones. I have learned about a wide variety of topics, from aircrafts to x-rays!

Certified Flight Paramedic

My Careflight mission statement reads: I desire to be a medic who is compassionate and competent, making a difference in the lives of my patients, patients’ families and coworkers.

I hope I was able to make a difference during my time as a flight medic. As the sun sets on this part of my journey, I know I will never be the same because of my time with Careflight.

Sun setting over the Avera Careflight Sioux Falls helicopter hangar

Come back Monday to learn all about my new job!

Death Ride Tour X – part II

Dude!!! You never said this was 225 miles in the mountains!!!!

My friend’s response when I told him I had registered and he looked further into the details of the ride. One of my best friends, Ken Elsner, is going to join me for the Death Ride Tour X.

Here are the details of the ride – it’s a doozy! Only 129 training days left.

Click here for Part I

Death Ride Tour X – Part I

Every year I’m trying to do at least one bike adventure. This year it’s going to be the Death Ride Tour. Sounds ominous and it is. The ride is 235 miles with 16,000 feet of climbing over three days. Why am I subjecting myself to this? I’m riding this tour in memory of my dad.

I sat in Queen City earlier this week and registered for the ride. I got to this set of questions . . .
Has anyone in your life been affected by ALS? : Yes
If so are they still alive? : No
If yes please supply name and relationship to you. Please supply full name. You will receive a special flag at rider check in for you to carry on the ride. : Harald Gruber, father

As I typed my dad’s name tears welled up in my eyes and I began crying in the middle of the bakery. I’m pretty steady when it comes to feelings, so this reaction took me by surprise. In dealing with my dad’s death I have been taken by surprise like this a few times when something unexpected caused emotions to come the surface.

Click here for more info about the Death Ride and come back soon for another post with ride details and who my riding partner is going to be.


You may already be aware of this news if you follow me on social media. I have been chosen to be on Team Nuun for 2019. As a part of Team Nuun I will be an ambassador for the family of Nuun products. I have been using the electrolyte tablets for about two years now and am obviously a fan.

Nuun is healthy hydration – our electrolyte enhanced drink tab is gluten free, dairy + soy free, safe for clean sport, and made from plant based ingredients (click here for more info)

Death Ride Tour

In my last post I shared about my dad, ALS and cycling. Last fall I looked into charity rides for ALS and found this – Death Ride Tour (click here for the official website) I’m planning on riding the Death Ride Tour this summer. It is by far the most challenging cycling event I have ever ridden. I am planning on blogging about everything involved in the participation of an event like this.

If you have some time, please comment on what your plans are for the new year and if you are going to try something challenging!