It doesn’t feel real. From the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic: from one coast to the other. It was an indescribable emotion to get off my bike, touch the Atlantic waters and burst into tears! 4350 miles to get form one coast to the other of the large North-American continent; 4350 miles that showed me the diversity and variety of the scenery, the climate and the people living in the United States; 4350 miles that helped me grow as a person, having to overcome many fiscal and mental obstacles; 4350 miles that taught me to fight for a goal that I desired to achieve; 4350 miles on my bike, with my legs and my hearth that I could hear beating constantly; 4350 miles for a great cause in which I firmly believe: 4350 miles for GRADE’s blood cancer research to save many lives!
There are no words to describe my happiness and my joy in fulfilling such a dream and challenge. I am happy that I was strong enough to ignore all those people that tried to convince me that I was crazy wanting to do a coast to coast and that I would never have been able to complete it. It is always easy to say no and to pull back in front of something difficult but we have to find the courage to face every obstacle with joy and passion, since nothing great is easy.
The yellow band you see on our bikes is to remember Dave, Ilene’s husband, who was riding with us for the last two weeks and who suffered a massive heart attack during the last night; a real tragedy. My entire family and I are thinking and praying for Ilene and her family, and many others are as well. Dave was an amazing person, it was sufficient to look him in his eyes and read his smile to know what he was about to tell you. He was that type of person that is able to make you cry for happiness without even noticing. I’m extremely sorry for this sad end on Ilene’s trip and I wish I could do something to help. Her energy and smile are contagious and her strength is admirable. “I want to be like Ilene when I grow up” I said many times to some of my riding mates and I think it now more than before.
I also would like to thank everyone who was around me this summer for being such an amazing big family, for being so kind and altruistic all the time and for making this summer such an important and major part of my life: you are all an inspiration.