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Kyle Robinson, a rising senior at the University of Alabama, isn’t spending this summer binging on Netflix. He’s biking across the country to raise money for Good Samaritan, a local Alabama clinic for the uninsured and impoverished around Tuscaloosa. Kyle, a pre-med student, has spent the last year and a half volunteering for this clinic and wanted to find another way to help support it. So he decided to combine his passion for sports and volunteering into a summer adventure, and that’s how One Big Trip came about.
Growing up, Kyle wasn’t very athletic. In middle school, he was diagnosed with a heart condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. Then, in eighth grade, he had a cardiac ablation, a procedure to correct heart rhythm problems, and after that, everything changed. He started enjoying sports and joined the Bellaire High School lacrosse team. He began to spend his spare time enjoying bike rides, runs, rock climbing and hikes.
More recently, he completed an Ironman in Florida (though he had never even run a marathon). Last summer, he hiked through Italy, Sweden and France – 109 miles in just one week. He also went to Nepal, joining a group that hiked to the base camp of Mount Everest.
He also loves to volunteer and, besides regularly volunteering at the Good Samaritan Clinic, he has volunteered in Peru, Nicaragua and spent two months at the beginning of the year in Madagascar volunteering in a remote clinic where he had the opportunity to practice medicine.
Kyle will kick off this summer’s trip in Seattle, WA on June 17 and complete his ride in Washington, DC on Aug. 13. He plans to take a break from cycling in multiple cities throughout his ride to help volunteer on house builds for Fuller Center, a nonprofit that builds and renovates house with families in need.
With the funds raised from Kyle’s trip, Good Samaritan clinic will help fund medications and hopes to hire a social worker and a nutrition counselor to go to patients’ homes and teach patients how to prepare healthier meals, and get them access to better jobs.