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|Join me in journey to bike across the country to cure SCI and prevent paralysis!|
|Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,|
Thank you so much for visiting this page and taking an interest in my cause! On June 15th, 2012, I, and two of my fraternity brothers and closest friends, will embark on a journey biking across the country, west coast to east coast. There are many reasons for doing this. First, I have recently just graduated from the University of Chicago and luckily have a full summer before I start work. When else in life will I have three months to attempt an endeavour like this? Second, although I've lived in the US my entire life (save the first 14 months where I lived in China), I feel like I've never had the chance to really explore this nation, meet its people, and experience its wonders. I look at this trip as an opportunity to do all these things and to better understand where I live, where I'm from, and what makes this country work.
Finally, the most significant reason for this trip is that I see this experience as an opportunity to support a cause that has had a life-changing effect on me, my family, and our friends. I ride to support research through the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to cure spinal cord injuries (SCI) and prevent paralysis.
May 25th, 2008 is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. The details are hazy from trying to forget, but thinking about that day's events still sends shivers through my body. That day, early in the evening, my father, my little sister, and I were involved in an awful car accident. Our car flipped 1 and 1/4 rotations on the road and slid over 200 feet. By some miracle, my little sister and I walked away with minor cuts and bruises, and to this day I am grateful for our good fortune. However, my father, Xiaofa Shi, came away from the accident in critical condition. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury and after 8 months in the hospital, almost a year on a feeding tube, and a summer in treatment centres in Beijing, he is considered permanently paralysed from the waist down.
This event had a major impact on my family life. My father was a real head of the household. He took charge of almost everything, from our family's finances to how our lawn looked in the summer. After this event, my mother, Chunyun, was thrown into the fire and truly became Superwoman by keeping my family together, taking care of my father and his treatments, my little sister and her activities, my grandparents and their illnesses, and me and my going away to college. I still cannot believe how she did it and continues to do it today.
Although tough, my family's life has returned to some sense of normalcy. I've graduated with only minor hiccups, my sister still has all her activities, my mom still works, and my father now has his own daily routine as well. Still, this event is something I look back on and think, "Why me? Why us? Why him?" I can't help but feel that the SCI stole something away from my father and my family's life. So I ride in honour of my father and in support of anyone who has suffered or has been affected by spinal cord injuries and paralysis. I hope to raise $10,000 for the Reeve Foundation to support their research for a cure. I truly believe that a cure is not all that far away and would greatly appreciate your support through a donation. I genuinely thank you all for taking the time to read and support me in my goal.
With much love and appreciation for your support,
Bo and the Shi Family