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Never, Ever Give Up!

As a former competitive swimmer, I’ve followed the career of Diana Nyad since her Olympic days. With roots both in Cuba and South Florida, I’ve watched her multiple gut-wrenching and until now heart-breaking attempts at crossing the Florida Straits. That she finally accomplished such an extraordinary feat at age 64 is inspiring. “Never, Ever Give Up!” were the words out of her month when she finally stumbled out on Smather’s Beach in Key West after her 53-hour swim.

In my life I haven’t tested my limits in the physical realm much. I’ve been more adept at doing so in the mental and spiritual realms. The one time I really did push myself physically was during the California AIDS Ride 2 in the mid 90s, when along with 2000 others I rode my bike from San Francisco to LA over mountain ranges in all sorts of inclement weather: 7 days, around 100 miles each day. After my trusted hybrid got stolen shortly thereafter, I hadn’t been on a bike since then.

This year I’ve decided to participate in the SMART Ride, a similar effort to raise awareness and much needed funds for HIV/AIDS, this one focused on South Florida. While this ride is much shorter (and thankfully, flatter), it will still be a challenge for my untrained body…that has journeyed around the sun (just) a few times since then. And the cause is still worthy!

If Diana can swim 110 miles from Havana to Key West, I can certainly ride the 165 miles down there from Miami on my new (tenderly used) road bike! (Thank you, Mike Hine!)

As a rider I commit to raising a minimum of $1250. Will you help me make it to $3000?

Your gift will help!

* $1000 sends an HIV+ child to camp for a week where they won’t feel the stigma of being HIV+

* $250 can cover the cost of one month of a health insurance premium

* $150 purchases rapid HIV testing kits for 10 individuals at risk

* $120 provides one month of meals for an HIV+ mother with two children

* $80 can provide a night of emergency housing in a safe place for a person

* $60 provides a medical visit (nursing care, vitals check, etc) for a person without medical coverage

* $50 provides transportation (30-day bus pass) and access to healthcare

* $32 gives an HIV exposed infant AZT for 6 weeks

Now in its 10th year, The SMART Ride began as a dream to create a bicycle event where 100% of pledges raised could go back to the communities to be used for direct services. That’s impressive.

We humans are wired for generosity and cooperation. In “The Ascent of Man” Darwin only mentions “survival of the fittest” three times and the word “love” almost 100!

I understand that may of us are on tight budgets and have been impacted by the economic downturn. Please tap into that in-born generosity and give whatever you can, even if it’s $10! It will add up.

Thank you!
Diana Nyad
Diana had three messages upon arriving in Key West. The other two were “You are never too old to chase dreams,” and “It looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”

Would you be part of my team and help me make a difference in real human lives?

Please click here to support The SMART Ride.

I am Rider #558 or you can simply search for “de la Huerta.”

With deep gratitude and appreciation,

Christian

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