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Riding Across America with a New Heart

  • August 15, 2019
  • Allie Nichols
Mike Cohen is a fighter. At 34 years old he has battled and beat Leukemia. The years of chemo took a toll on his heart that led to heart failure and very few options. On February 25, 2018, Mike underwent a 12 hour open heart surgery to replace his heart with a healthy one. That heart came from 32 year old Navy Flight Surgeon, Lt. James Mazzuchelli.

Now recovered from his transplant, Mike, an avid cyclist, plans to ride his bike from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL this October to meet James’s family and visit his burial site.

When Mike approached Osmo to help hydrate him through his ride, we were so moved by his dedication that we immediately jumped on board to help. We recently chatted with Mike about his journey so far and what he expects in October.

       

    What has inspired you to ride your bike from California to Florida?

  • Being able to do what I love to do through my favorite “vehicle” to share my story. I was able to celebrate my six years cancer free by cycling from San Diego to New York City back in 2012. I figured having a new heart, I’d love to thank James’s (my heart donor) family for being unbelievably supportive and allow them to listen to his heart beat inside my chest. 

What has surprised you most about training?

  • How strong I am. How unhealthy I was before. How quickly my heart and body recover when they are both functioning in sync. 

How have you changed your lifestyle since your transplant?

  • Improved in every single way. I’ve become cautious about being out in certain public places. Really appreciating my time with friends, family etc. Preferring cycling in any format vs walking.

     

What are you most nervous about with the ride?

  • Inclement weather. I just hope the hurricane gods aren’t angry and are big supporters of events like this. If they show their face, we will be prepared!

What are the logistics like? Where will you sleep?

  • Likely an RV or Van. The crew and I will be camping each night. Some cities, hotels. Primarily in the RV/Van.

How has Osmo helped with your training?

  • Thanks to the Active Hydration, I had been able to stay hydrated throughout all of my training. I love the consistency and flavor. 

Any advice or tips for people who might be in a similar position and want to challenge themselves?

  • If you have a dream or desire to experience something, do whatever it takes to do it. Everyone lives life with some sort of adversity. Some different to others. Don’t let anything or any excuse stop you from living the best life possible.

Follow Mike’s journey on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrmikecohen/

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