The following story and accompanying photo was submitted by Geoff Thomas as part of the Share Your Story project.
In 2007, Geoff bicycled across the USA to raise Lupus awareness. 156 days and 14514.045 km (9018.61 miles) later, on September 30, 2007, he finished that journey in New York, NY.
Find his original cycling website at:
Below you will find one of the pictures taken from that journey along with the story behind it.
Click the thumbnail for a bigger view.
I was three months and 5695 miles into a ride around America when I crossed The Great Divide in New Mexico. Generally, reaching such ‘peaks’ were a time for celebration. At this stage I just felt flat. And it had nothing to do with the wicked wind, the unfavourable road surface or four flat tires on the day. I felt flat because I was beginning to have serious bike problems and there was a huge state called Texas coming up. Soon would be the first time I would wake and say to myself, ”I don’t really want to do this.” Thankfully, that attitude wouldn’t last. I was reminded daily of those with lupus who couldn’t get out of bed, let alone jump on a bicycle. And eventually after 9018 miles I rode into NYC with an awareness ride complete, yet so much still to do. My lupus journey had, in fact, only just commenced.
About Geoff Thomas:
Not long before cycling 9018 miles around America to raise awareness for lupus, Australian Geoff Thomas [Editor of The Lupus Magazine] went back to school to study radio broadcasting and the news media. Diagnosed with cutaneous lupus and interested in many forms of the media, Geoff never forgot the assistance he received from others as he attempted to succeed in his studies. This helped immensely as he ‘mingled’ with reporters, journalists and photographers in America. He also had articles and photographs finally published as a result.
Upon returning home to Australia, Geoff had a few goals in mind – to use his experience to further raise awareness. Most importantly, that bike adventure resulted in making friends with lupus patients and organizations worldwide. His realization that lupus was a major worldwide concern prompted him to establish a worldwide blog for lupus to get the message out there. Geoff has always wanted to establish an online lupus magazine.
” Over the past few years, I’ve heard of so many people who’ve had to defer their studies due to lupus. I also know the satisfaction of finally having your content published – if this website gives an aspiring writer with lupus a chance, then we’re half-way there. I just thought the magazine would be a great place for people with lupus who wanted to contribute well-written material and continue to raise awareness at the same time.
There also seemed to be a little too much doom and gloom on the internet about lupus. I wanted to create something that was uplifting and fresh, in a laid-back magazine style. I want the contributing writers to have an avenue to express themselves creatively and positively. Most importantly, I want the readers to relate to the articles and feel a sense of ownership. Obviously it’s also a great opportunity for lupus organizations and others to be able to promote their lupus awareness efforts worldwide”
So there you have it – from little things, big things grow…