Last night I attended a fundraiser at Twisted Taco in Buckhead which my good friend Curt invited me. I knew he likes to ride motorcycles (as I had seen pictures on Facebook), but when he told me he will be riding from Atlanta to Alaska this summer, it caught my attention!
He said he is doing it with a bunch of people, at least to start. Towards the last leg, it would probably be just him and his dad on the road.
The idea of riding 13,000 miles cross country was started by Daniel Palazzolo in 2010 when his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. He wanted to do something for her to show her support, so he started writing a blog “ATL to the Arctic” and raising money for the Susan G. Komen foundation.”I’m riding a motorcycle from Atlanta, GA to the Arctic Circle, AK, because it’s hard and long and something I will do alone in honor of my sister, Kris, who has breast cancer”, says Daniel. Palazzolo’s sister Kris is a 42-year-old mother of five who lives in north Georgia and has just completed chemotherapy. At 30-years old, Daniel will be leaving behind his garage business, his friends and family, and going for his second cross country bike trip.
Last year he raised $20,000 and the Susan G. Komen foundation recognized him (one of the few men) as a Passionately Pink for the Cure ambassador. He was flown to Dallas to appear in a commercial for Komen.
It’s true that very few young mean would ever think about doing something so big in honor of a family member. Most breast cancer ambassadors tend to be women who themselves have undergone the disease of were closely associated with it. Daniel is an inspiration to other men out there. He portrays the macho bike-rider image, yet maintaining a kind and giving heart. I am very impressed with Daniel’s idea, his mission and dedication.
On Friday, July 15, 2011 Daniel and two of his friends will leave for the Arctic on their pink BMW’s. It will take them four to six weeks to complete the journey. “The journey itself is fun, it’s the other stuff (writing, fundraising, marketing, etc.) that is hard” Daniel exclaims.
The riders have several fundraisers coming up over the next few weeks. If you would like to learn more, bike with them or donate, follow the ATL to the Arctic blog page.