A Bensalem, Pennsylvania native simply refuses to let his cerebral palsy and epilepsy get in his way. Harvey Dawkins is always looking to others and thinking about those less fortunate than he is. A friend of his has multiple sclerosis, so he’s decided to raise money for multiple sclerosis research by getting on his bike. As he said, “Having cerebral palsy is nothing compared to MS. It kills people, and I felt like I should be doing something to help.”
Dawkins has used his body for fundraising events around the country. He’s ridden in events in New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and Texas, and he hopes to get to every single state before he stops. He’s raised thousands of dollars for MS and he says that his own disability doesn’t hold him back. “When I was growing up, people with disabilities weren’t encouraged to do anything,” Dawkins said. “We were just sort of lumped together and told we can only do so much. But my father and my grandfather got on me all the time. They said they didn’t want me to ever say I can’t do something.”
Now 44, Dawkins bikes three miles to work several times a week to the Home Depot in Westampton. He also rides about 70 miles a week for recreation and training. He says that bike riding is actually good for his cerebral palsy, as it relieves some of the muscle-tightening that he deals with. He said, “I’m trying to start my own nonprofit so I can ride around the country and spread the word about what people with disabilities are doing. The way I see it, if one person can help another person, we can get pretty far.”
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