When I was in elementary school, my big brother used to make model rockets with his friend, Stephen Allen. I always looked up to them both, and I believe I got a lot of my sense of adventure from them.
It's been a decade since I ever knew Stephen. But now I am back, living and working in Telluride, and, as chance would have it, I see him almost every day at the bakery. He's always friendly, funny, a nice customer. I'm not sure he remembers me, but we re-introduced ourselves to each other, so we always greet each other by name and say Hi on the street.
Anyway. A few days ago, I noticed an article about Stephen in the local newspaper, saying that he's preparing to leave on a 2-year bicycle tour of the WORLD, starting and ending in Telluride. At first, I was just impressed with this very cool adventure idea. But the past few days I have been learning more and more about the motivation and story behind this trip.
Stephen has Epilepsy. And this bike tour is a special event funded by the non-profit foundation that he founded! It's called Seize The World, and exists in order to promote epilepsy awareness and research. Stephen wants to show the world that people living with epilepsy can live happy, healthy, active lifestyles. He has already done so much with his life, but I think this trip will do wonders to inspire not only other people living with epilepsy, but anyone who needs a reminder that disabilities/adversities are no excuse for not living life to its fullest.
Stephen is leaving tomorrow, actually. So let's wish him safe travels and good luck with the publicity! And definitely check out the website for more information about the STW foundation and Stephen's trip.