A journey of 52000km begins with "an alarm clock ringing”?

Jeremy Scott said that the hardest day of his life was the day his alarm clock woke him in central London England to the first day of a 2.5 year journey to Auckland New Zealand by bicycle!  Jeremy as guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Alexandra’s meeting last week explained after six years of planning the day had come to actually get on his bicycle, for the first time fitted out with panniers, to ride home.  The panniers had to carry everything he needed food, water, tent, clothes, camera etc.  He was by himself, unsupported and it was up to him and him alone if he was to succeed. This was not the first time that he had taken on a challenge that would be life changing. Born with a congenital heart defect at the age of four he underwent cutting edge open heart surgery.  Now at 45 years of age he looks back to the days when he underwent the surgery with a sense of relief and wonder that it was possible at all and to appreciate the utter dedication and professionalism of his surgeon Sir Brian Barrett-Boyes and his team. Just over half way through his trip home he found out just how cutting edge his operation was.  He spoke to a fellow NewZealander in Vietnam who told him of his son who had the same heart condition as Jeremy and who had had the same surgeon. Jeremy’s response was “when can I meet him?”  The answer was he could not as the operation was not a success.  It turns out that this operation was 2 years before Jeremy’s and Sir Brian’s team had learnt so much that by the time Jeremy needed the operation they had the tools and processes developed by the heart research to ensure Jeremy could live a “normal” life.  If you call cycling in 20 degree below and 45 degree above freezing temperatures, though 29 countries including Iran and the mysterious countries east of the Black Sea, camping with drug dealers and meeting so many people whose only desire was to help him on his way, normal.  Thank heavens he took his trusty Nicon SLR camera with him, bulky and heavy but what images it captured. The 25 minutes of Jeremy’s address rushed by as the Rotarians and their guests tried to take in the images he showed on the screen and to wonder at his ability to do such a task.  As Jeremy's nephew  (aged 5 years)  said “My uncle is riding around the world because he has a broken heart”.   Now the second hardest day of his life was rushing at him.  After travelling 52000km or 1.5 times the circumference of the earth he was actually at Auckland, home and he had made it.  
No more peddling!  Well not quite, he has just embarked on a speaking tour around South East Australia and is planning a cycling trip around Australia in a year or so.  Both challenges are to spread the word about heart research and to raise funds for heart research groups in the areas of his travel.
Rotarian Ron Sinclair, chairman for the evening, expressed the thanks of all present for the outstanding quality of his presentation and then handed over to president elect Melinda Jackson. Melinda also thanked Jeremy and presented him with a cheque for $500 from the Rotary Club of Alexandra for Heart Research.   Jeremy was overwhelmed and he said that it was just the thing to keep him going.  Jeremy also has captured his story in a book, the sale of which also raises funds for heart research, needless to say he sold a good number of books as well, a very successful night in all aspects.  The big winner for the evening was the generosity of the human spirit across the globe and our ability to both deal with adversity while helping each other live healthier and rewarding lives.  Jeremy said it was just what Rotarians do every day around the world.