United Spinal Association has been named beneficiary of the Ride with Ian Cross-Continent Bike Trek and will receive 100 percent of the profits raised by Ian Andersen, who is cycling 20,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina to increase awareness, help veterans, and fund rehabilitation.
Andersen, 24, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, hopes to ride through 14 countries over the next 10 months, to support United Spinal’s mission of enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans and care providers.
Andersen found inspiration for his journey from his friend Natalie Fung, who was injured in 2013 when she was hit by a drunk driver. He hopes to raise $1 for every mile he rides and is donating to United Spinal Association.
Andersen chose United Spinal after doing extensive research and seeing the breadth of its efforts. “They have a great network and they impact a lot of people,” he said.
The cross-continent ride has been a lifelong dream for Andersen. His uncle, Brett Andersen, set a Guinness World Record for accomplishing the same feat in 1986.
“I asked myself, ‘What am I good at?’ Well I’m pretty good at biking,” recalled Andersen.
“I thought, my uncle did this trip, which I would like to replicate, and I’ve got a great cause I’m passionate about,” he added.
Andersen, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Southern California, embarked on August 24th in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Andersen is making progress, stopping along the same route his uncle took to share his message of awareness and the work of United Spinal.
“It’s going really well and if I can reach this goal of 20K, Natalie, the SCI community and I would be so grateful. Together, we can help change thousands of lives,” said Andersen.
If you would to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/BikeTrek, all proceeds will go to United Spinal Association.