By Mare Martell
— August 30, 2012
Outside of the old Kroger store, I met a man named Andre Block purely by chance. He had a trailer on the back of his bike with a cardboard hand written sign that read, “Virginia to Missouri for my son.”
His ride successful, he returned to Knoxville to settle in, that is, until his pedaling feet got the itch again.
— May 24, 2015
Outside of the new Kroger store, I met a man named Andre Block purely by chance. He had a trailer on the back of his bike with a cardboard hand written sign that read, “Karma Ride.” This time, Mr. Block has chosen an even bigger piece of the pie. He started off in Knoxville, Tennessee, yesterday (May 23) on a 2,600-mile trip that will land him in Venice Beach, California.
It was a grand reunion with hugs and laughter, but the seriousness of the cause Karma Ride is riding for this time is something important to Andre. He’s riding across the country to raise awareness of Lupus.
Lupus is surprisingly common. It’s an inflammatory disease caused when a body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. It causes joint pain, fatigue, a butterfly rash on the face, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms. Although the symptoms are medically manageable with the proper diagnosis, there is no cure.
“I couldn’t imagine living through that every day. I decided that I’d make a difference by riding across the country spreading love, joy, peace, and talking about this serious health issue that many people suffer from because we don’t have the cure. I want to help in the only way I feel I can contribute. I’m going to ride.”
He’s started a fundraising effort through the Lupus Foundation of America. To contribute, click here: The Lupus Foundation of America. He also has a gofundme page, which is currently being revamped since it previously reflected his preparation for the journey. When completed, it will reflect not only his progression across the United States, but for him to interact with people who wish to help him succeed. You can also follow The Karma Ride on Facebook.
When asked what his next stop will be, Mr. Block said: “I’m not sure where I’ll land next, but I plan on being in Nashville next Monday. From there, I’ll keep going until I get to the other side. Although I’m a bit more out of shape than I ought to be, I feel comfortable and confident I’ll meet that goal.”
Safe journey to you, Andre Block.
Click here to access a Facebook page with a video of what it looks like to ride through some of our familiar territory around Cedar Bluff.
Here are some educational links about Lupus: