Alex Willan & William Rudd - Cross America by Bicycle
We are using this epic cycle to try to raise £20,000 for Research Autism, £4 for every kilometre that we cycle.
We have chosen Research Autism because Will’s cousin Jamie is severely affected by the disease. Will has seen its affects, not only on Jamie but on the whole family. Jamie is 13 years old, but cannot yet talk.
Stop a second, and Imagine not being able to talk.
Imagine understanding everything going on around you, but not being able to comment.
Imagine having to be dressed every morning in clothes you don't choose, and then hurting your parents as you try to tell them you wanted the blue shirt today.
Imagine being swamped by having to hear everything that everyone is saying around you, and not being able to listen to just one thing at once. He loves being in a swimming pool, just floating, legs held motionless by the weight of the water, while he keeps his ears underwater to just relax, hearing nothing.
He understands everything - he appears to have a photographic memory - but can’t get his thoughts out. Frustration leads to despair and anger, making severe tantrum's just one of the many things that his family has to deal with.
He has extremely specific eating requirements and requires round the clock supervision.
Jamie is at the severe end of the autistic spectrum, but given that one in 100 people suffer from the disease (with varying severity) it is shocking that this condition is still so little understood.
From April to July this year, we are cycling across the USA to raise £20,000 for Research Autism. Our route is from New York to San Francisco a distance of 5000km, the equivalent of London to Baghdad. The ride will take us through some of Americas greatest cities, across the Utah ‘badlands’, and over the Rocky Mountains. We will face temperatures ranging from freezing to over 30 Celsius, and have to cycle from sea level to above 11000ft: this will be an EPIC.
Follow our progress: www.x-america4autism.blogspot.com
We met during our first year at secondary school and found that we shared many common interests in sport, outdoor activities and travel. We are both going on to study geography at university later this year. Will has lived all his life in Kenya, and spent much of that time outdoors, and is now a certified safari guide and sailing instructor. Alex grew up and still lives near London and has recently become a BASI ski instructor. We wanted to raise money and awareness for autism by doing something different and challenging before university, and cycling across America certainly fills both of those roles.
Research Autism is a UK charity solely dedicated to Autism. Its main aims are to understand Autism and its effects, to ensure that any intervention is helpful and correctly targeted and to strive for social inclusion of the afflicted, helping them to live full and positive lives as part of the community. To find out more about this charity visit www.researchautism.net.
We would be so grateful if you would consider donating even a small amount. With luck we hope that someday Jamie will be able to thank you personally.
William Rudd and Alex Willan
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