Man travels 10,000 miles combating child sexual abuse, makes pit stop in Brownsville
Mon, 18 Jun 2012 03:05:00 GMT —
A journey across three countries on a slow moving bike may seem hard to believe.
But it's the message behind the journey that Thomas Burick says, makes it all worth it.
Burick is travelling by himself for 10,000 miles to raise awareness for child sexual abuse.
A survivor of molestation himself, Burick says the pedophile that allegedly abused him was never brought to justice.
"It causes a person a lot of damage. And I held that damage for 30 years and I didn TMt deal with it. I'm 43 years old, and one day I realized how much damage that it actually caused my life," said Burick.
Riding for three charities, Burick is trying to raise $20,000.
All three charity groups combat child sexual abuse, but these charities also have one more thing in common.
"All three have a heart in their logo. So my journey is a gigantic 10,000 mile long heart that spans Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. This is a global problem. This just isn't something that we deal with in the U.S., so it was important for me to go beyond boundaries," he said.
He started this journey on April 16 of this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, right in front of the home where his alleged assaulter lives today.
Along the way, he sleeps in camps, eats cheap meals, and drives a bike that only travels up to 35mph.
"I need to show people that this is worth doing, and it's worth the struggle. It's worth the fight to do this. That's why I chose that bike, that's why I stay in campgrounds, that's why I eat so cheaply. Because it's really important to let people know that it's hard, and it's worth it."
He says his goal is to get people to open up about this problem, to a place where awareness is widespread and action is taken.
"Parents can talk to their kids. Kids can talk to their parents. Teachers can talk to parents. We can get that on the table and really just talk about it without shame, without embarrassment, without awkwardness, and just get it to that place," said Burick.
Burick says this journey will take him up to 8 months to complete.
If you would like to donate to this fight against child sexual abuse, visit their website.