I made it my life goal to put smiles on people's faces and have partnered with Kids Action for Kids to raise funds and finance surgeries for children born with facial deformities, cleft lips and cleft palates. This organization was co-founded by my childhood friend Martin Brekke and his brothers Haakon and Anders as a platform to train youths and kids in organizational work and community service.
The Bike Trip (click here for the route!)
From August 19th to the end of September I will be cycling from Seattle, Washington to Ann Arbor, Michigan covering a rough distance of 2700 miles (4345 kilometres) with elevation gain of 30,723 meters. The bikepacking trip is self-supported and I will be camping outside for the majority of the time as well staying with warmshowers hosts. I will also be uploading my rides regularly on my Strava page (link to route: https://www.strava.com/routes/16050515 ).￼
Below are cities and towns that I will be passing through:
Seattle, Snoqualmie, Ellensburg,Soap Lake, Spokane
Coeur d'Alene, Wallace
Missoula, Dillon, Virginia City, Ennis, West Yellowstone
Cody, Buffalo, Gillette
Custer, Keystone, Rapid City, Pierre, Huron
Marshall, Gaylord, Minneapolis, Saint Paul
La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee
Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
To see my real-time position, please click on the link to my spot tracker page here !
Why this organization?
Kids Action for Kids (fact sheet link ) has been working with Operation Smile Thailand and financial partners since August 2009 and have financed and helped organize more than 1,300 successful surgeries in Thailand and Myanmar. ￼
All incoming donations to Kids Action for Kids are used to fund surgeries. Administration work is done by unpaid volunteers and all administrative costs are paid from the board members own pockets, so that you can be sure that 100% of the donation we receive will go directly to surgeries.
My involvement with Operation Smile Thailand began in 2007 as a sixth grader at the International School Bangkok, where I took part in multiple fundraising events - selling t-shirts and baked goods to local community members. 11 years later as a recent college graduate from the University of Michigan in Mechanical Engineering, I find myself coming back full circle and wish to give back to my home country and bring smiles across children's faces.
A single surgery cost 25,000 Thai Baht, which is about 750 US dollars. The cost is calculated to cover expenses such as renting surgery room, medical equipment and medical consumables required during the surgery, medication, hospital stay and travel costs between home and hospital for the patient and a chaperone, and travel costs and accommodation for the volunteer medical professionals.
My goal is to raise 2700 dollars between now and mid October. For donations above 30 dollars I will write you a postcard from my current trip location. If you would like a postcard, please indicate the address that you wish for the card to be sent through personal message or email me at [email redacted] .
Updates and Videos
I will regularly update my trip through facebook feed, my blog, and my youtube channel.
Health and safety are paramount in this trip. Therefore, I have taken several steps to mitigate risks such as turning on two rear blinking lights at all times, using Garmin Varia radar to warn me of vehicles coming behind, and attaching reflective tape on my cycling shoes as well as my clothes. At all times I will be carrying my insurance card and ID in my cycling jersey pocket. I will be using a SPOT Gen3 tracker to let family and friends know that I'm safe. The device also allows me to send emergency responders my GPS location in case of an emergency.
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