If you think “Row for Hemophilia” sounds like a nice little fundraising event taking place at a local fitness center, you may be surprised to learn that it is actually a 2,400 mile
unassisted row by a young man with hemophilia across the Pacific Ocean!
Who would be adventurous and determined enough to take on such a formidable challenge? Two University of Georgia students, Jacob Pope and Chris Lee, who are on the rowing team and have a connection to hemophilia and to Hemophilia of Georgia are planning this ocean row. They currently are in the process of raising funds to compete in The Great Pacific Race in June 2016.
Hemophilia advocacy and treatment is a cause close to Jacob’s and Chris’s hearts. Jacob has hemophilia B. He is passionate about health and lives as active a lifestyle as he can within the bounds of his hemophilia. A management information systems student, he plans to do medical consultancy and nonprofit work. Last summer, Jacob interned at Emory’s Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center with Dr. Shannon Meeks. He is a John Youtsey Memorial Scholarship recipient, attended Camp Wannaklot and has volunteered at Trot to Clot events.
Chris studies genetics at UGA and is fascinated by genetic disorders such as hemophilia. He is a premedical student in his third year. The two met on the rowing team and have been close friends ever since. Together, they hope to bring awareness and provide financial support to organizations such as Hemophilia of Georgia. They both share a drive to push their own limits and a desire to make a real difference in the community. The idea for Row for Hemophilia came about because they wanted to have an extraordinary adventure that could impact others as well as themselves.
Typical crossings take between 30-80 days for the 2,400 mile journey. The length of time varies due to wind, storms and currents. Jacob and Chris anticipate completing the journey in 45 days due to their rowing experience and technical training. Their goal is to complete 50-55 miles each day, split up in shifts, rowing both separately and together.
Their boat will be 27-29 feet long with two cabins. GPS and autopilot to help them stay on course. It will also contain emergency equipment, tools, a repair kit, a Wi-Fi hub and a satellite phone.
Jacob and Chris will need to consume 10,000 calories daily, most of it coming from dehydrated
backpacking style meals. Water will come from an onboard water-maker capable of desalinating up to 8 gallons per hour.
It’s organized ocean rowing race so they’ll be trailed by a support yacht and have 24/7 access to an emergency medical consultancy line. Jacob has moderate hemophilia and after discussing his plans with his hematologist, has decided to follow a fairly aggressive infusion schedule. He will bring approximately 20 doses of factor with him.
Jacob and Chris hope to set some records, too! If successful, the pair will be the youngest team to complete the row across the Pacific Ocean, from California to Hawaii, and Jacob will be the first person with hemophilia to have completed an ocean row!
The boys hope to raise $150,000, and have already reached about $50,000. This will just about cover their expenses. More funds are needed which will be donated to HoG, to help fund research and for camp. Upon completion of the race, all functional equipment will be sold to the rowing community with the proceeds added to the amount donated to HoG. Fundraising is their top priority and Jacob and Chris want to guarantee to donors that their generosity will make an impact.
Learn more about Row for Hemophilia and how you can donate funds to help Jacob and Chris achieve their incredible goal of rowing unassisted across the Pacific Ocean and bringing awareness to
hemophilia. Follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter and donate here!