Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Row for Hope

At 25 years old, Paul Ridley is the youngest American to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone. It took him 88 days and he rowed almost 3,000 miles. Paul and his sister, Joy, started an organization called Row for Hope in 2001 in honor of their mother who passed away from cancer. Row for Hope is a fundraising organization for cancer research.

In the CNN article I read about the journey, the line that stood out for me was when Paul how he decided to put this effort together with his sister. "I was a rower at Colgate University. I love the sport. I'm not a scientist, but I can row," he said. Paul looked at what abilities he had, what contribution he wanted to make, and found a way to put the two together.

In addition to raising money for cancer research and awareness of the disease, Paul and Joy also want to encourage other athletes to take up efforts similar to Paul's Atlantic Ocean crossing. Even better news - he may just inspire all of us by showing that we can take what we love doing, no matter what it is, and use it improve the world around us in any way we can think of. A social enterprise mash-up in the making.

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