May 23, 2024

Keilingen: He fought back in life and now wants to cycle from Canada to Tierra del Fuego

Keilingen: He fought back in life and now wants to cycle from Canada to Tierra del Fuego

Tell me, Mr. Brown, what motivates you?

When I was 15, a tumor the size of a potato was removed from my brain stem. After the surgery, I was completely paralyzed on my left side, could no longer walk, and had problems with speech and concentration. Years of hard discipline and I kept working.

This trip is my lifelong dream. With her I want to show people who have the same fate as me and to prove that it is important not to give up. I want to inspire and motivate them to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams.

Even if you live in Salem-Buren, we meet here for our conversation at Hekau Youth Work. Why?

I came here for rehab in 2005, ten days after my surgery. This was a pivotal moment in my recovery. Hekau was able to go back to school after three months in the youth system. However, grammar school overwhelmed me and I had to temporarily switch to secondary school.

The later path to high school and university was a big challenge for me. Today I am working as a teacher. After my Panamericana adventure, as a guest promoter, I will keep telling it to the young people in the Hegau youth organization. A story like mine is a great inspiration to patients and their families, say the people in charge here.

During training at Haltnau.

During training at Haltnau. | Image: Rainer Jackl

Do you have any other goals?

Yes. Through my Panamericana bike tour, I want to bring the topic of brain tumors to the public eye. I want to raise more awareness in Germany, but also in the countries on my tour.

They have sponsors and collect donations. why

I think I need about 15,000 euros for my Panamericana trip, including the bike. I can’t do it with my savings alone. All donations above my required funds will go to German Brain Tumor Aid. This non-profit association is committed to improving patient care and advancing neuro-oncology.

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They will start in a few days. Are you looking forward or excited?

Both. The disease has left a mark on me to this day. Although some things are difficult for me, I am looking forward to the tour. I like challenges. Currently I am checking my preparations for these 22,000 kilometers with the bike and my logistics. My 4000 euro expedition was sponsored by the bike manufacturer. It is particularly strong.

Nevertheless, I have to be prepared for breakdowns and repairs. I am still thinking about what spare parts to carry with me. The luggage should not be too heavy. All in all, I want to be under forty kilos. My tent is very light at 1.5 kilograms. But there’s more to what you need. As far as film equipment. You should follow my journey on social media.

An avid cyclist and his fundraising goal

What is your ideal travel plan?

It’s 22,000 kilometers from Calgary, Canada to my intended end point at the southern tip of South America. I think it is realistic to cover an average of sixty to seventy kilometers per day, despite the varying nature of the entire route, some poorly developed roads and the enormous altitude difference of over 4000 meters. I reckon I’ll be on the road for fourteen months.

Are you missing anyone right now?

Yes. I definitely miss my girlfriend, my family and my friends.

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