by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Riding to Make a Difference

volunteer_forney1Eighty-four-year-old Hal Forney is determined to continue helping others. Starting in 2015, he has participated in Tour de Cure San Diego, an annual 29-mile bike ride dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the American Diabetes Association. For Hal, the second oldest rider in the Tour de Cure San Diego, the quest for a cure for diabetes is close to his heart. “My family has a special connection with diabetes, with our grandson on dialysis and his mother and grandmother also diagnosed with the disease. We also have many friends here at La Costa Glen Retirement Community who are afflicted,” revealed Hal. He and his wife Elizabeth, who have been married for 61 years and have four children, 10 grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters, are happy to support such an important cause. Each year, Hal has ridden in the Tour with one of his daughters. He hopes to continue the tradition in 2017.

When it comes to training for the Tour de Cure, Hal adds more cycling to his impressive weekly routine. “I do a lot of running and swimming and also work out in the gym at La Costa Glen. I ride two to three times per week, maybe a little more just before the Tour,” related Hal.

Name: Hal Forney
Community: Carlsbad
Family: Wife – Elizabeth; four grown children; 10 grandkids and two great-granddaughters
Hobbies & Interests: Cycling, gardening, travel, and more
Tour Website:

In addition to keeping physically fit, Hal enjoys working in his vegetable and flower gardens and volunteering for the local Presbyterian church with Elizabeth. Hal is a retired orthopedic surgeon who practiced in San Diego for nearly 30 years and continues to play an active role in the local medical community. “I volunteer in an orthopedic clinic at UCSD for a half day per week as a teacher to medical students,” said Hal. During his career, he specialized in amputations and prosthetics and was in charge of the amputation program at the VA Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.


Hal and Elizabeth have a long history of helping others, not only locally, but also overseas. “A major part of our life involved foreign travel, much of it for volunteer work. I have worked in Africa seven times, Armenia three times, and have been to Korea, Pakistan, Bosnia, Bhutan, and Kurdistan. I also served on two short tours on the hospital ship, USNS Mercy, in the southeast Asia region,” shared Hal. Although they no longer travel as they used to, Hal and Elizabeth are thrilled to continue their local volunteer work.