Cycling Across America to Support Save One Life!
Last year, 47-year-old cyclist Barry Haarde became the first person with hemophilia to bike across the USA!. Starting in Ashland, Oregon, Barry cycled 3,667 miles through eleven states and Canada to arrive in Portsmouth, New Hampshire 50 days later. He dedicated each day of his ride to a person with hemophilia who has lost his life to hepatitis or AIDS and posted their photos and names on Facebook. This included Ryan White, the teenager who became the face of HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s when he was expelled from his school due to his infection. In addition, Barry helped to raise $30,000 for Save One Life.
This year? He did it again! On April 20 Barry he launched Wheels for the World 2013: FAST & FURIOUS!, a coast-to-coast 3,456-mile bike ride from Costa Mesa, California to Amesbury, Massachusetts. He rode an average of 110 miles a day through wind, rain, snow, desert, mountains and plains to raise $37,600 for Save One Life.
For many years Barry hid his own HIV-positive status. But, after surviving a grueling multi-year treatment to cure his hepatitis in his early forties, Barry decided to make his disorder public. Since then Barry has been symbol of courage, determination and endurance for people with hemophilia around the world.
Having survived over thirty years with HIV, and also having recently cured hepatitis C from which I'd developed liver cirrhosis I have a very strong sense of gratitude and appreciation, says Barry. Not only have I survived, I am still able to maintain the physical health and conditioning required to ride a bike across America. I can at least honor our lost and help those who still struggle by dedicating my ride to them.
Barry is an outstanding example of his favorite motto, attributed to musician Bob Marley, You don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.