Not even Kalisi Uluave knew what he was getting himself into when he decided to ride his bicycle from Huntington Beach, California, to Mount Desert, Maine.
Kalisi began the Tour For a Cure on May 16, a fundraising effort to support a Cedar City boy battling cancer. When he reached his final destination in Maine on July 21, which happens to be Kalisi’s birthday, he had accomplished something very few people ever do. He rode his bike over 3,000 miles. In other words, he rode from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
“it took some determination, but it also took a touch of being naive. I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be until i was actually in there, and it took some pride not to stop,” said Uluave.
Despite constant struggles with malfunctioning equipment, being hit by a vehicle, losing a loved one, and not knowing whether or not he would have enough food and water to make it through each day, Kalisi was able to accomplish his goal.
The main drive behind the Tour For a Cure was five-year-old David Eves. David is battling Pancreatoblastoma. He received a liver transplant in 2010 which cost $25,000. Despite falling short of his financial goal, Kalisi is grateful for all the donations and support he received on his journey.
“I have 100% faith in humanity, that there are good people in this world… cause there were so many times that I was down to my last everything, where there was no way I could go another day because I didn’t have enough food, have enough water, my bike was breaking down, and people stepped in to help.”
This fall, Kalisi is transferring from Southern Utah University to Utah Valley University, where he will be able to take courses learning the Tongan language. He plans on spending the summer of 2012 living in Tonga.