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boston to seattle

 

 

Over 3,000 miles,

15 states, across 46 days.

We're biking across the country,

because some can't.

 

OUR STORY

 

Because some can't, we will.

 

Just a word of advice, from us to you: When you and your spouse have this "great" idea to bike across the country in ten years when your youngest child graduates college, it will sneak up on you at lightning speed. Then, your summer will be spent looking at maps of wind direction, road surfaces, and temperature variances. Of course, there's also the city and accommodation searches, lists of outlets for "technical" support, and don't forget, you will actually have to train for this epic journey. Just when you think it's all perfectly planned, your wife just might say, "Are you sure we want to go from East to West?"

We are Merrick and Stephanie, a firefighter and Captain with South King County Fire & Rescue and Port of Seattle Fire, respectively. On September 1, 2016, after ten years of planning, we will begin the trip of a lifetime as we set off to bike from East Coast to West Coast. The past few years have truly flown by, and we now find ourselves approaching the starting line. Five years ago, we set out on a trial run, biking from Seattle to San Francisco, leaving right from the front steps of our fire stations. In our minds, we pictured this trip would be the same; but somehow this felt different. Through the years we have seen many of our friends and family struggle through the different phases of numerous cancers and life-altering diseases and as we've set out on different training rides, our thoughts have been consumed with the lives of those who can’t make this journey with us.

We all know someone fighting to live a normal life. We have personally been touched by loved ones battling pancreatic and brain cancers, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. And as firefighters, we also have a cherished relationship with children who have suffered as a result of burn injuries. So now, instead, we are biking off into the unknown, and asking you to support our causes and to spread the word to all you know:

-Stephanie and Merrick

 

Because some can't, we will.

 

Our journey

Oh, the places we'll go!

All in all, our trip will total a little more than 3,200 miles. We plan to start in Boston, Massachusetts and conclude our journey back home in Seattle, Washington. As you can imagine, we have many pit stops planned along the way! Each day, we will be biking anywhere from as little as 33 miles to as many as 87 miles. Our bikes will have to endure many changing landscapes, elevations, and weather temperaments along the way, as well. We plan to climb many hills (both large and small), enduring almost 122,000 feet of elevation gain. But what goes up, must come down! Sea level to sea level, we hope our travels bring us many adventures and friendly faces along the way.

 

Where are we going?


OUR BENEFACTORS

When we first thought up the idea for this ride, it was simply for the novelty of it. We love adventures and traveling together, especially on two wheels. Some ask us why in the heck we would want to ride bikes across the country; We say, "Why not?"

However, this trip has turned into an amazing opportunity for us to make a difference. We are so fortunate to be able-bodied to make this trip possible. Many of our loved ones aren't as fortunate, though. This coast-to-coast trip has become a way for us to raise funds for incredible causes near and dear to our heart. We know many individuals who suffer from debilitating diseases, but some of these conditions have impacted the lives of our loved ones more severely than others.

There are five foundations we have chosen to raise money for: the Washington State Association of Firefighters (WSCFF) Burn Foundation, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation, and the Evergreen chapter of the ALS Association.

WSCFF Burn Foundation

As Washington firefighters, we support our local burn foundation that assists burned youth from across the country. Our departments hold events for the foundation and actively interact with them due to the nature of our work. Every summer, the foundation accepts burn-injured youth to a week at Camp Eyabsut.

Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

We personally know more people with brain cancer than any other type of cancer or disease. We know heroes both surviving and deceased that have been afflicted by this terrible disease. It has become so common among those we know and love dearly.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

This particular type of cancer has hit very close to home for us within the past few years, particularly within our fire departments. We have lost a loved one due to this aggressive disease and is creeping back into our lives with the diagnosis of another brother. We aim to support the funding to double the survival rate of this disease by the year 2020.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Parkinson's Disease has a very large presence in our lives, due to the fact that two of our parents live with it. With no known cause and no known cure, this disease continues to diminish one's ability to live a "normal" life.

ALS Association

Our small neighborhood is one in which everyone knows each other's names. Within just three blocks, two of our friends have suffered from this debilitating disease. We mourn the passing of one who lost her battle with ALS and one who continues to fight it every day with strength and bravery.