‘Challenging’ is the one word Harry Zullo uses to describe his most recent adventure. On September 10, 2016, a day after his 60th birthday, Harry began a 3,200 mile bike ride across the United States in hopes to raise $10,000 for AICR. Starting in his hometown of Warrenton, Virginia, Harry thoroughly planned his bike route to reach Santa Monica, California in early November. To many, this journey seems extraordinary, but to Harry, it is just another set of miles to add on to an already impressive list.
“For as long as I can remember, biking across the United States has always been a dream of mine,” says Harry, “I took a leave of absence from work, and here I am.”
Harry, a part-time consultant for BAE Systems, enjoys a good long distance activity. He graduated from George Mason University with a Master’s in Health and Fitness. After 30 years of running, and 4 marathons later, Harry decided to give his worn-out knees a break and take on a different form of endurance. Stationed in Europe, while working for the federal government, he began his biking excursions by pedaling through Jordan, Germany and Austria. Once retired, he embarked on his first few trips in the states.
“I started off with a short trip from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then a couple months later, I travelled 1,600 miles from Warrenton to Key West, Florida.” says Harry.
Although he enjoys the adventure, Harry had an additional inspiration for this trip. In 1991, Harry lost his father to lung cancer, and seven months later, lost his mother to breast cancer. His sister is a breast cancer survivor, and he currently stands by his brother-in-law as he fights prostate cancer.
“I’m raising money for all those who have been affected by this deadly disease,” says Harry, “Cancer is a challenge, but I want to conquer it, I know we can.”
He strongly believes in the connection behind nutrition, physical activity and cancer prevention, which is why he has been a loyal donor to AICR since 1997. Out of many cancer organizations, he says AICR is the one that connected the most with his healthy lifestyle. So far, he has raised close to $7,000, but it has not been easy.
“I’ve faced extreme weather conditions, tough mountain ranges, difficult roads with traffic, not to mention it gets very lonely,” says Harry. But these challenges are nothing compared to those that face a diagnosis of cancer according to Harry.
“The best part of my trip, so far, is all the people I have met and how generous and supportive they have been,” says Harry, “I’ve been given free hotel rooms, donations, and many well wishes.”
Harry hopes to raise awareness for cancer research and prevention, and inspire people to remain healthy and active throughout their lives.
“You don’t need to conquer the world, but you have to get involved and do something,” says Harry.
To read more about Harry Zullo and his journey across the United States, or to donate to his fund, you can visit his blog at: http://xcountry4cancer.tumblr.com/, or his fundraising page at aicr.org/zullo.