The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) is extending a warm Florida welcome to Irish cyclist Simon Hutchinson who is participating in the first ever race to cycle around the world. Hutchinson is the sole Irish competitor cycling in the 18,000 mile/28,800 kilometer World Cycle Racing – Grand Tour. In addition to vying for the coveted Guinness World Record for the ‘Fastest Circumnavigation of the Globe by Bicycle’, he is also raising much needed awareness and funds for Brainwave, the Irish Epilepsy Association.
“The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida was thrilled to be able greet Simon as he pedaled into Jacksonville, his first stop in the Sunshine State after a long journey that started in London in February” said Karen Basha Egozi, chief executive officer of EFOF. The 24 year-old Hutchinson’s route will then take him to two other Florida points, the last being Miami late Friday evening or early Saturday morning. Simon will then head to Peru Saturday night before returning to Ireland and the UK.
Simon chose Brainwave because a cousin of his has a rare type of epilepsy. As he stated on his website, Simon’s Epic Cycle “This type of epilepsy has such a huge effect on her and her family and I’ve always wished I could do something to help her and others in a similar situation. I picked Brainwave not only because they’re a charity but also because they invest in research and strive to educate and inform people about this often hidden disability.”
According to Egozi, “You will find that around the globe, people living with epilepsy face similar challenges, ranging from access to appropriate medical care to contending with the misperceptions, stigma and discrimination that can accompany a diagnosis. In Ireland, 37,000 people are affected by epilepsy and in the state of Florida, 375,000 are living with epilepsy. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder – or should I say pedal to pedal – in support of Simon’s heroic effort and we are grateful for the much needed attention he is bringing to epilepsy. “