Bravery and perseverance were on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Tuesday, as 24-year-old Lewis Colam, a former management consultant and novice rower from Plymouth, England, completed his 1,800-mile one-man rowboat journey from Miami to New York City to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.
Welcomed by the cheers of his elated family and friends, Colam docked his 15-foot open-decked rowboat for the last time at the Intrepid’s pier, capping off 100 straight days of rowing up the Eastern Seaboard with no prior rowing or seafaring experience, and no motor, sail or fellow rower to support him.
“After 1,800 miles and 9 states, I finally made it here against all the odds,” Colam stated to a group of onlookers, including many familiar faces that he met along the route. These new friends, who had each offered him warm meals and a rare night’s sleep under a roof during his journey, had since tracked Colam’s progress and traveled to New York to witness the final moments of his noble task.
Colam took a special interest in Alzheimer’s after watching the grandmother of a close family friend succumb to the disease. “It had a very profound effect on me,” he said. “I found out many staggering things, such as how many people it affects, from all age groups.” Baffled that he had never seen a fundraiser specifically benefitting Alzheimer’s, he decided to embark on an epic journey that would bring international attention to the cause.
As of June 12, Lewis has raised $28,804, just over half of his total fundraising goal of $50,000 that will support research at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.
“It's been a real honor to row for the Fisher Center,” Colam noted. “If you haven't yet donated - I don't blame you, I never thought I'd make it either - but there is still an opportunity to do so.” Donations can be made to the Fisher Center at www.ALZinfo.org.
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation is a leading source of funding for Alzheimer’s research, support and education. In 2011, it received a coveted 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator. The Fisher Center was founded by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who also founded the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where Colam ended his journey.