Why I’m Doing This Ride
There are three reasons why I’m doing this ride:
- Raise awareness on glaucoma
- Do the last adventure on my bucket list
- Inspire & help others facing glaucoma
Raise Awareness on Glaucoma
Glaucoma is sometimes called the “silent stealer of light”. And with good reason: many of its victims don’t even know they have this vision-robbing disease until severe damage is done. That was my path.
By bringing attention to the disease, I will encourage others to go in for vision tests, find resources to help them, and seek out people that can give them moral & emotional support.
Do the Last Adventure on My Bucket List
It was 3 years ago when, when in the grief of having lost most of my vision, an inner voice said “Do Your Bucket List.” It was more than just a “thought”, it was something I realized I must do.
The first item was a kayak trip down the Grand Canyon. Three months later I joined an incredible group of people on a 3-week trip down one of the greatest white water journeys in our country. And, in a moment forever etched in my soul, my life turned around on that trip. It was a moment of grace.
On the second adventure – a solo motorcycle ride on dirt roads up the spine of the Rockies – fortune again came my way. I used the chakra system as a tool for personal development. An adventure in the wide open landscapes of the West melded with an inner quest to rebuild myself. It was a trip about growth.
There is now one item left on that list – to ride a motorcycle from the top of Alaska to the bottom of South America. As on the other trips, there will be a wondrous adventure to feed my spirit. But this trip is also about using my skills in journalism and visual media to bring attention to a disease that is the second biggest cause of blindness in the world. This trip will be about giving.
Inspire Others with Glaucoma or Trauma
Glaucoma affects millions of people. I’ve lost 75% of the vision in my right eye and over half in my left. It is, unfortunately, a disease that sneaks up and can take out vision so slowly that victims often miss the cues until the damage is done. That’s what happened to me, and it led me down a path of darkness.
I spent two years dropping in depression – to the point where I considered “checking out”. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. But I know that space.
I can no longer do many of the outdoor activities I used to take for granted – mountaineering, photography, and other adventure activities. However, I have a deep gratitude for the activities I still can do.
In his book Fate and Destiny, Michael Meade discusses how we often find our purpose in our darkest moment. That has been the case for me.
In my darkest moment, I finally found my way out. Trauma became my fuel for transformation. And that is one of core messages I want to bring to others facing vision loss. What can seem like insurmountable suffering can actually be the doorway into a deeper and more spiritually fulfilling life.2