Letter: Bike ride from Alaska to Key West for AIDS

Uli Schackmann
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Dear Historic City News editor:

With a clear “2020” vision of a cure for HIV/AIDS in my sights, I will ride my bicycle from Alaska to Key West.  I am currently in St. Augustine and will be here for at least 7 days to make some repairs to the bike, replenish my supplies, and get a necessary rest before I continue with the last 600 miles.

I do this to raise funds and increase awareness of the life-changing opportunity to find a cure by the year 2020. The science behind the treatment and care of those infected has finally arrived at this momentous occasion.  amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, is devoting its considerable resources to achieving this goal and I am committed to standing up for compassion in a world where all lives matter.

My journey presents an unprecedented challenge – physically and emotionally. It will take 5-6 months to complete this arduous journey, symbolic of the struggle faced by so many people living with HIV for the rest of their lives. I am compelled to do this because I have witnessed the intimate nature of this disease and the human response to it.

I don’t need to explain that HIV knows no boundaries; globally impacting man, women and children, people of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Education is essential to preventing the spread and ultimately eradicating HIV’s path.

I hope that my path across the North American continent will demonstrate that with belief and commitment anything is possible.

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