NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 10, 2014

Answering a wake-up call

After health scare, Merrimac man will pedal cross-country to raise money for charity, AJH

(Continued)

It made him want to give back to others in need, and to those who gave to him, Harris said.

“It made an impression on me,” he said. “I didn’t make it through to go back to my regular life. I wanted to say thank you to the people who helped me, and I wanted to do something and to reach out to others. I wanted to live every moment to the fullest.”

As he healed, he turned to exercise, including cycling. Last fall, Harris completed a triathlon, and he didn’t stop there. He started making plans for his second “once in a lifetime experience.” After all, 21 years ago, one year before got married, Harris completed his first bicycle trip across the country, during which he raised money for Alzheimer’s research.

Now, he’s doing it again as he spends 7 days a week training for his grueling trip. Through his ride across America, Harris wants to give back, and he is hoping to raise $25,000 for the Rotary Foundation, which serves 170 countries around the world through its service projects, and $2,500 for Anna Jaques Hospital, as a way to express his gratitude for the care he received during his illness.

“Anna Jaques was great through the entire process,” Harris said.

Harris will start his journey in Seattle, where he’ll spend a few days touring the Olympic Peninsula before heading East. In total, he plans to visit 14 states, averaging about 75 to 90 miles each day. His travels will take hm through eastern Washington, Idaho, the Rockies in Montana, where he will stop at Glacier National Park, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. Along the way, he’ll visit with family and friends, as well as make stops at Rotary clubs and the Rotary headquarters in Chicago.

The cross-country journey offers a chance for solitude and introspection, Harris said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Special Features