Raising $35,000 for human trafficking
An avid cyclist, Dr. Paulus founded Cycling For Change (c4c) in 2014 to raise money via cycling events and golf tournaments to assist organizations that work to end human trafficking and aid survivors. The group's first cycling fundraiser, in summer 2015, took Dr. Paulus, his immediate family, his brother's family and two other cyclists on an approximately 3,400-mile, month-long ride from Seattle to Long Island.
The cross-country excursion required detailed preparation, but plans changed for Dr. Paulus four weeks before the start. Despite 18 months of training and nearly 3,000 miles logged, he received an automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator to treat recently diagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
"I ended up riding about 200 miles of the route, and two cyclist friends rode the other 2,800," Dr. Paulus said. "In general, we tried to cover an average of 115 miles a day, six days a week. My family and I followed the riders in an RV as the support team. After the cyclists completed their daily rides, my wife, children and I added to that, usually 20 to 40 miles."
Just two days into the trip on July 1, Dr. Paulus not only began his trek across America, but he celebrated his 40th birthday.
"We were in Wenatchee, Washington, and I biked for the first time since receiving the defibrillator," Dr. Paulus said. "The route took us across the Columbia River. I got really emotional riding with my girls."
Then on August 1, the whole team wrapped up the trip by cycling from North Shore University Hospital to the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club in Locust Valley, accompanied by dozens of local cyclists. The overall trip featured plenty of sweat, a little blood - some of the cyclists were left with cuts and scrapes and even stitches following spills from their bikes - and a few tears. It raised $35,000 for the Nomi Network and World Vision.