Written by Chris Seistrup
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At some point in 2012, I saw stumbled upon Mike Dion’s documentary, Ride the Divide. For five years, I have been dreaming, scheming and plotting my course for the hardest test of physical and mental endurance I have ever pursued. This is one of the most difficult bike races in the world. The course is mainly off-road and covers roughly 2745 miles and almost 200,000′ of elevation gain. There is no support crew, no aid stations, no course markers, no help at all. Riders must carry all their own food, clothing, and camping gear to make it from one small town to the next, sometimes over 100 miles between restocks. If the bike breaks down, it is the rider’s responsibility to fix it. Again, we are on our own.
If all of that isn’t enough, to top it off, I also have hemophilia. Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder characterized by a reduced ability to form clots to stop bleeding. I am very fortunate to have a mild case, but some others are affected far worse. People with severe bleeding disorders may need treatment several times a week. In some countries, just getting to treatment can be difficult. This year I am raising money for the Save One Life organization.
Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder characterized by a reduced ability to form clots to stop bleeding. Uncontrolled bleeding is treated with injections of a commercially prepared blood protein, available mostly to those in developed countries. When left untreated, bleeds can cause severe swelling in the joints, pain, crippling, brain damage, and even death.
Save One Life is an international nonprofit that provides financial assistance to people with bleeding disorders in developing countries. Hemophiliacs in these countries are at an extreme risk of the crippling effects of hemophilia. After recently suffering a bleed in my hip, I learned exactly what these people go through. Save One Life helps hemophiliacs and their families in many ways. It provides scholarships to students to attend college, grants to help hemophilic families expand their small businesses, and direct sponsorship to individuals so that you may see the face of the life you help to save.
I believe in this charity because they go beyond just helping get treatment for those in need; they help raise the standard of living of those effected so that they may better support themselves in the future. We’ve all heard the Chinese proverb, “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” I know the money we raise will provide a long-lasting impact on the lives of those receiving the benefits.
I was born with hemophilia and during an early childhood bleed, I was treated with tainted blood products and contracted hepatitis C. I have been extremely fortunate in that my case of hemophilia is fairly mild and I have outrun the effects of hep C. I want to use my abilities to spread awareness, help those less fortunate, and to inspire the next generation of hemophiliacs to stay active.
If you know anything about me, you know my passion and dedication for helping others, please help me meet my goal of raising $10,000 for Save One Life.