Cycle Across America for Bipolar Disorder
In cooperation with Michael Boyd, Border Mountain is sponsoring an across-the-nation bicycle fund raiser for raising awareness for families dealing with bipolar disorder and for disabilities.
Michael Boyd is a Little Creek Academy alumnus who shared classes with JoAnne Chitwood's sister. Having lost his former wife Cindy to this disease, Michael knows the pain in a family system that bipolar disorder can cause. The reason why this cycle trip is amazing is that Michael is paralyzed from the upper chest down from a construction accident. He has figured out a way to drive and cycle and goes canoeing, kayaking, and camping on a regular basis. His dream has been to ride a solo customized handcycle across the U.S. and he wants to do it for a good cause. Cycle Across America is in the planning stages and will occur when financing permits. The entire ride will be filmed and produced as our second documentary about Bipolar disease (see our page). The original start date was to be either June 5 (David Chitwood's birthday) or June 21 (National Bipolar Awareness Day). However, an earlier start is being considered to avoid the hotter days at the end of the trek. The starting point will be at the Marine Biology Center that Walla Walla college has in Anacortes since that was David's favorite place on earth. We will do a kayak excursion in the sound using David's kayak and with Michael in his special one. There will also be a service for David, Cindy, and all the people that have been lost to this disease. The trip will end on the steps of the capitol building and the plan is to testify before Congress about bipolar disorder and disability issues. It will take at least 2 months to complete the more than 4,200 mile trip.
You can help with financial support for the trip and building the custom bike by using the Donation link to the right. For more information about the trip please read the articles in the 2011 (915k). If funds are available the trip is being scheduled for summer 2014. To learn more about Michael Boyd, review this inspiring published in the Southern Adventist University alumni magazine a few years ago.
While ten million people in the U.S. alone have this disorder, at least half of them receive no treatment. Often this is because of lack of information and insight on the part of the individual and/or his or her family. This is a terrible loss when you consider that treatment for this illness is generally safe and effective and getting better all the time. Left untreated, the disease tends to get worse. Recognition and diagnosis in its earliest stages is important so the ill person can receive treatment and avoid the harmful consequences of repeated episodes, which are all too often eventually fatal, as was the case with Jennifer and JoAnne's brother, David, and Michael’s former wife, Cindy.
If you would like to help spread awareness about Bipolar Disease, please use the "Donation" link below to connect to PayPal and make a tax deductable donation towards the Cycle Across America project. After clicking on the button, simply type in the amount you wish to donate and update your shopping cart totals before filling out payment information. You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a credit card donation payment to Bordermountain, Inc.