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3,000 mile trek

Mathematics teacher crosses the continental United States

Kaimana-Joy Manzano, Sports Editor

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Matthew Barbaccia is a first year mathematics teacher here at Konawaena who has had reason to fight for a good cause. On February 27, 2017, he packed his bag and began his journey biking across the continental United States; starting in Jacksonville Florida and ending in Monterey California.. A collective of just under 3,000 miles or 2,815 to be exact. “This was my first ultra trip” Matthew said. “I plan on doing more over the summer.” The journey is only half the phenomenon though for this new teacher, the cause for his biking trip is even more miraculous. Matthew’s uncle, was diagnosed with young onset parkinson’s when he was only in his 20’s. Wanting to raise awareness and funds for the disease, Mr. Barbaccia joined the Michael J. Fox organization in the grass roots group which is a free-for-all for all those who wish to raise money for the foundation. The funds are then given to universities, hospitals, and people diagnosed with parkinson’s. Altogether, this teacher has raised $20,000 for the multi-million dollar organization, a truly amazing feat. Through this entire journey, he proved to himself that he could endure miles upon miles of vigorous exercise across the United States with the wind at his back and thoughts of his uncle heavy on his brain. Matthew has an online blog called ride4parkinsons.com where he talks about each of his stops on the way to Monterey California. In the blog, he mentions that biking has become a form of meditation for him. It becomes a way for him to focus on his breathing and controlling it in longer distances. Inclusively, he talks about how a healthy lifestyle is mandatory for these types of long distance trips. He remains set on eating right, maintaining daily exercises, and keeping his goals in mind. Altogether, this teacher displays what true dedication is when striving for a goal through optimal performance and unwavering persistence.

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