“I was thinking that I would do something for Kris, something big, something that she could focus on and read about,” said Palazzolo, “It's made her really happy that I'm doing this for her.”
Palazzolo said that he wanted to help Kris stay positive throughout her aggressive chemotherapy treatments. By getting frequent updates of his ride, said Palazzolo, his sister would be able to enjoy this amazing experience with him.
Kris's experience after her diagnosis has been the inspiration for this ride, he said.
“Kris was diagnosed six months ago,” said Palazzolo. “They diagnosed it quickly, and her prognosis is good. The treatments are really aggressive- they caught it early.”
What his sister's experience should teach others, Palazzolo said, is that mammograms before the age of forty are a necessity.
“They caught it fairly early for Kris,” said Palazzolo. But, he said, some women do not.
“We really want to put this information out there,” said Palazzolo,” we're trying to raise awareness through this ride.”
The ride is not only raising awareness, but is also raising funding for the Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure foundation.
Palazzolo and his family raised $1,400 through one event in Calhoun, alone.
“We raised $1,400 for the foundation at a party here in Calhoun in one night,” said Palazzolo.
The event was held on Saturday, June 19, at Cherokee Cycles in Calhoun, which is owned by Daniel Palazzolo's brother and sister-in-law Marcus and Jackie Palazzolo.
“We're having another [fundraising] event in Atlanta on July 21,” said Palazzolo.
In addition, donations can be made to the foundation through Palazzolo's ride blog, atltothearctic.com
The increase in buzz about his ride has created a spike in donations, said Palazzolo.
“I did an interview with 11 Alive news last week,” he said. “There were three or four new donations that day that it aired.”
The donations may increase when Palazzolo begins his harrowing ride next week.
“The first few days will be the hardest,” he said. “I'll be doing a minimum of 750 miles a day for the first leg of the trip, which is a minimum 12 hour ride.”
While the ride will be physically exhausting, Palazzolo said that he has prepared as best he can for the six –week ride.
“I'll have gear that can get me through most weather changes,” he said. “There's rain gear, there's riding gear for hot weather, for cold weather. Some food, some supplies. I'll have multiple cameras, donated by sponsors, to capture the trip and record travel logs.”
Palazzolo said that he outfitted his bike specifically to bear the burden of such a long haul with so much equipment.
“There are two sets of tires, because 500 miles will be dirt road, and the bike had to be carry all of the extra weight of the supplies.”
And Palazzolo said that he will “have GPS and panniers to carry everything in.”
Palazzolo said that he spent the last three months modifying his motorcycle in preparation for the ride. Palazzolo said that he had to do a good deal of work on the 2006 BMW 1200 GS, including outfitting it in a Desierto 3 fairing kit to prepare for the weather concerns of the long expedition.
In addition, Palazzolo said that he modified the bike in order to address safety concerns which would be heightened by the marathon nature of the ride.
But all of the planning and the rigorous long journey is worth it, said Palazzolo, to help his sister through her fight with breast cancer and to raise awareness and funding for the many breast cancer victims who receive assistance from the Susan G. Komen foundation.
To follow Daniel Palazzolo's trek and to make donations to the Susan G. Komen foundation, visit the blog atltothearctic.com.