Bike for BJ

Dream it.  Do it.
 

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August 13, 2006 -- We Made It!

Final Destination - Atlantic Ocean

Photo by MADELYN TROYANEK, madelyn.troyanek@staugustinerecord.com
for The St. Augustine Record, August 14, 2006

Tons o' new photos in July-August photo galleries!
Check out our blog in Tales from the Road

Our 3,009 mile cross-country journey began Tuesday, May 16th, 2006, in San Diego, California and ended almost 3 months later in St. Augustine, Florida. We kissed that beach (or at least played in the water!). How sweet it is to realize a dream held since childhood, to overcome adversity, and to show the world just what can be accomplished if you put your heart behind it.

We rode to raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Through the support of people like you, we raised thousands of dollars which were donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in BJ's name.  We have learned how much can be accomplished through the kindness of others, and we thank you for your help.

If you would like to help continue the fight you can do so here

The gang
Friends forever aka Some things never change
Exploring Big Bend National Park

My name is Nick Blankenburg, and in the summer of 2006 my best friend, Sean Ryan, and I did something big.  On bike and trailer, we made the 3,009 mile journey from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida.  In doing it, we realized a long-standing dream we had made long ago as teenagers.  It was close to 10 years before that we decided to bike across the country, but a lot had changed since then.

In 1998 a car accident left me with a significant spinal cord injury rendering me a quadriplegic.  During recovery from my injury, I had tremendous support from my family, friends, and the community. One of those friends, BJ Carlson was one of the first there.  BJ Carlson was injured in a school bus accident two years earlier, and also left a quadriplegic.  BJ made me realize something very important: that a spinal cord injury doesn't have to be the end, but rather a new beginning.  He told me that great things were still possible, and that I could still achieve every one of my goals.  BJ lived this message everyday.  Instead of seeing barriers he saw solutions.  BJ continued to inspire others until, sadly, he passed away late in 2005.

Since I can no longer hop on a bike and ride with my friend, to realize this goal some creativity became necessary.  Instead of side by side, I followed behind my friend.  Not on a bike, but on a specially designed trailer we built ourselves, that allowed us to still achieve every mile of our dream together.  Each of those miles was a small victory!

Please explore all the links, and learn a little bit more about us and what we are doing.

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Thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of others!
 

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