We met Hassan in Kennewick yesterday , a multi-year CAF grant recipient, whose story is hard to comprehend. Hassan contracted an unknown disease at age 4 and became disabled losing the use of his legs. In Somalia where he was born a disabled person is pushed aside to fend for themselves. His family fled to Kenya where he lost both his parents and more recently his wife and 2 kids were killed by warlords when they went back to Somalia to see family. He left for South Africa to make a new life. CAF went there (on a cycling trip) in 2015 and met Hassan and presented the racing chair you see in this picture. He has since immigrated to the US and competed in a variety of races receiving a grant this year to travel and compete in marathons! He has a wall full of medals he proudly displays (next to the American flag). His personal journey is fraught with loss and pain yet remarkably he is living in Kennewick and establishing a new life with support from neighbors and a local church. He now has a car and disablility equipped apartment, he loves being in the US but misses his family dearly. He has an amazing fortitude to compete , build a new life and press on as a productive contributor. We were both so impressed with his kindness and special determination.
Hassan took us to his favorite Indian resturant and we devoured a 🌶 great meal together! Meeting these Challenged Athletes reminds us of how important it is what we are doing to help raise funds for amazing people like Hassan and Rachel. Their stories are truly inspiring and meeting and getting to know them has been a privilege for us!
Stayed at the Cherry Chalet B&B last night (secured last minute) as we walked up after many miles on the road the group gave us a hearty welcome ( plus a donation!) and we joined them for wine tasting!
To go along with the wine ,Steve our host , went and got some cherrywood Ribs he had cooked earlier to sample….”Oh My” were they good😉!! Very nice people who were keenly interested in CAF and what we were doing in Kennewick.
I love seeing Old Glory when riding , our beautiful flag, stripes held high with the wind…if we could just get it going in the right direction😬! Rode 5 hours and 57 miles and it seemed like I was peddling in quicksand but we pedal on👍 with nearly 400 miles completed. Blessed with warm weather with highs in 60’s😊!!