Riding for Awareness

The numbers are truly staggering. Over 72,000 overdose deaths nationwide last year alone. Even more alarming is the 22-fold increase of synthetic opioid overdoses over the past 15 years. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that this opioid problem, this epidemic, must be addressed. We must go beyond simply acknowledging the numbers as an issue, and actively do something to halt the exploitation of overly addicting pharmaceutical drugs. When I first saw the statistics I was outraged to think how little was being done, but even more so how all of these people had been reduced to just a number.
    
     It seems like every week I see a new post of friends losing a loved one to this epidemic. I personally have lost many friends, and at this point almost everyone knows someone who has lost their lives to this issue. Those who I know were some of the most creative, funny, charismatic individuals, and were taken from us way too soon. These people lost their lives because of a drug that chemically alters the brain, tricking them into believing they need it to function properly. I know this to be true because I struggled with opioid abuse for years.
    
     Initially it was just a recreational thing that allowed me to escape from other issues in my life. It became a coping mechanism that evolved into an unmanageable problem that I attempted to hide from my family and loved ones while struggling the entire time. I ended up losing everything I ever cared about and pushed away all those who loved me.
    
     Last year I was given the opportunity to go to Alaska and start over and get myself right. In doing so I was able to overcome the seemingly insurmountable task of opioid dependency. After linking up with my friend Ethan who overcame the same challenge of synthetic opioid abuse we decided to actively make a step to combat this problem.
    
     We both use fitness as an outlet to a healthier lifestyle, and improving our self-esteem. We came to the conclusion that through fitness we will try to not only raise awareness, but try and encourage those struggling with this issue to maybe reach out for help. On October 8th Ethan and I will be riding bicycles coast to coast, from San Diego, CA to Savannah, GA. Along the way we will be preaching about the power of fitness over drug abuse, and reaching out to local communities about the dangers of these highly addictive drugs. With your help we will actively start making a change. A majority of the proceeds will be donated to two non-profit organizations whose mission is similar to our own. The first is Natural High, who empowers youth to use fitness as a healthy outlet rather than drugs. The second, Partners in Health which helps those who are subjected to social injustice.
    
     Our goal is simple: Use fitness to combat the profiteering of big pharma, and help those struggling with the issues Ethan and I have overcome. We dedicate this journey to all those who have lost their lives to this epidemic. Thank you for taking the time to read and donate, and if you can not please at least share to get the word out.
  • Selena Joyce 
    • $25 
    • 35 mos
  • Barclay Stratton 
    • $20 
    • 35 mos
  • Joshua Dubois 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Laura Plunkett 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Georgia Holdaway Cake 
    • $30 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer

Patty McGinty 
Organizer
West Chester, PA
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