High school friends drive cross country to raise stroke awareness
Tom Ford and Ray Streib stopped by Beckman Motors to have the '67 Dodge Polara serviced before heading back to the West Coast on their Drive to Stay Alive.
When Tom Ford and Ray Streib pulled into Pittsburgh in Tom's 1967 Dodge Polara a couple of weeks ago for their 40th high school reunion it was more than a cross country drive down Memory Lane, it was "The Drive to Stay Alive."
Tom and Ray, friends since their days at Carrick High School, are making the round trip from Los Angeles, CA to Pittsburgh and back to raise awareness and funds for stroke research and the rehabilitation of stroke victims.
Several years ago, Ray, a musician and performer based in Las Vegas, suffered a massive stroke and the debilitating effect of stroke-related brain injury. Doctors didn't give him much chance to survive and if he did he would be in a bedridden vegetative state.
Tom says Ray was never good at listening to people tell him what he could and couldn't do and after several years of lying in a vegetative state, he started to regain some movement. The stroke disabled him physically and ruined him financially, but never dampened his spirit.
During their drive back to Pittsburgh in the '67 Polara, they made stops along the way where Ray planned to play with musicians along the way. He also played for his classmates at the reunion.
Tom says the 6,000 plus round-trip signifies Ray's struggle in many ways and highlights his resolve. He says Ray can be an inspiration to others in similar situations.
The car is also an attraction. While they were here, they participated in the annual Crusin' on the Hilltop car cruise and drew attention when they stopped at Beckman Motor Company to have the vehicle prepped for their drive home.
The car is the same make and model Tom owned as his first car that he and Ray cruised around in when they were in high school in the early 70s.
During their trip, they were asking for support and donations to improve stroke awareness, treatment and rehabilitation. Donations were accepted on their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/67DodgePolara.
Tom plans to make a documentary of their trip when he gets back to California.