This is a bit further afield that we usually “go” in terms of cycling stories, but it struck me as a valuable story for cyclists and non-cyclists alike on this side of the pond.
Tech executive Sean Maloney was extremely healthy and about to be Intel’s next CEO, until he suffered a devastating stroke. Against all odds, he returned to work in less than a year. To inspire stroke survivors and because 80% of strokes are preventable, Maloney decided to cycle across America to raise awareness through events for the American Heart/Stroke Association, setting off on March 22, 2015.
Maloney’s ride, Heart Across America, didn’t just go straight across the country. To rally and ride with CEOs, he chose a 5,000 mile route. CEOs and other executives from Samsung, Dell, Qualcomm, Acer, Asus, eBay, Intel, and HP supported him by holding 14 health and wellness events in 14 states. Along the way, thousands heard Maloney’s message and received free health screenings.
The physical aspect of riding 5,000 miles was not the most difficult part. A major crash sidelined Sean for 6 weeks, and one of the lead cyclists passed away. Repeatedly, Sean and the team got back on the road and continued. Maloney’s message to those who suffered strokes, heart attacks and any other setbacks is this: “Never, ever give up.”
Maloney and his Heart Across America riders include: Olympic cyclist George Mount, members of the Cycling Hall of Fame, CEOs/executives, and local cyclists. They will ride from Fort Lee, New Jersey to cross the finish line at 11am today, Sunday, June 14th in New York City. Loads of local riders are being asked to get “sweaty Jerseys” for the final leg from New Jersey into New York city.
I’m including an infographic from the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association and I believe the information and advice that these bodies give is pretty much mirrored by our local equivalents. I particularly like one of their slogans – “Love your heart – help your brain” and I would urge any reader who is keen on cycling to see if they can recruit more cyclists, not for cycling’s sake, but because 80% of strokes are avoidable.
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