Dr. Ethan Goldstein is riding his Peloton bike for 365 consecutive days to raise awareness for the National Stroke Association in honor of his father.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Ethan Goldstein
In May 2019, Dr. Ethan Goldstein of West Bloomfield began riding his Peloton bike for 365 consecutive days —not just for himself, but also for his late father.
Goldstein’s father, Dr. Mervin Goldstein, was a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif. He lived a normal and healthy life until May 1, 1997, when he experienced his first stroke.
“He suffered from a very unusual stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and he had difficulty with his speech,” Goldstein said. “He was eventually able to walk but had no use of his right arm and was then unable to practice medicine.”
Over the next 22 years, Mervin Goldstein lived a happy and meaningful life. He was a talented artist who retaught himself to draw and paint with his left hand. He was even able to retake his driver’s test and teach himself how to drive left-handed with a car that was fully suited for him to do that.
“Unfortunately, in October of 2019, he had to come off blood thinners for a colonoscopy and ended up having another stroke,” Goldstein said. “That, in conjunction with heart failure, really set him back further.”
After a month-long battle in the hospital, Mervin Goldstein passed away on Dec. 14, 2019.
Goldstein shared that his father was always positive and upbeat. He would always say, “That was then; this is now.” Even with the obstacles that followed his stroke, he never let that dampen his outlook on life.
With his father as his inspiration, Goldstein, 45, decided to ride his Peloton bike for 365 consecutive days to raise money and awareness for the National Stroke Association.
“I’ve had my Peloton for about three years now and, in May, Peloton had their homecoming event where all their home riders can come together for a weekend filled with events and festivities. I decided then — since it was around the time that my dad had his first stroke, and also since May is national Stroke Awareness Month — to start this 365 consecutive ride in support of my dad.”
Goldstein rides his Peloton for this initiative because he recalls the determination his father showed while riding his recumbent bike during rehab.
“He sat on the recumbent bike for an hour and, although he wasn’t going 100 mph, he was still working hard and breaking a sweat,” Goldstein said. “This is somebody who had limited use of his right side and heart failure, but here he was two to three times a week, getting on the recumbent bike and exercising.”
So far, Goldstein has stuck to his goal. Although it’s hard to find motivation at times, he often reminds himself of a quote shared by one of the Peloton instructors: “I want you to take this ride for somebody who can’t.”
May 5 will mark Goldstein’s 365th consecutive day of riding his bike. This date will also be four days after his father’s stroke 23 years ago.
“I’ve made this commitment not only to myself, but also to my father,” Goldstein said. “I know he’s watching and pushing me along.”
Dr. Goldstein has a GoFundMe set up in honor of his dad for his Peloton ride for 365 consecutive days. All proceeds go directly to the National Stroke Association.