In 2013 I became the first woman from Ohio to attempt and complete the solo Race Across America, a grueling 3000-mile bike race, all in the effort to raise awareness to the public about veterans’ issues. I was able to accomplish this goal with support from the community and since then my bike has become one of my greatest advocacy tools.My father, a Vietnam combat veteran, decided at the age of forty-five to walk away from his life and his homeHe was homeless by choice for many years until January 2018 when he accepted help from the VA at the age of 72. The effects of war have severely altered my life and the lives of others who are important to me. I believe it is the responsibility of those who have benefited from the sacrifices made by our military service men and women to welcome them home and help them heal from the effects of post-military trauma and that is why I founded Wheels4Change.

After I competed in my first multi-day ultra-cycling event in 2010 the ADK540 a month later I and got on an airplane headed to Phoenix city, Alabama where my dad was squatting on protected land that once was a Civil War Fort. I had never been estranged from him; he would come back to Cleveland to visit family at least once a year. I went there to ask his support to help veterans in my Race Across America Attempt.  This visit I was meeting him on his terms. I did one of the stupidest things I have ever done, I camped overnight in his compound. I lived to make a documentary about the trip which I used as a fundrser for an Akron veterans’ homeless shelter 2011.

Below is a documentary I created after I visited my father in 2010

Cassie Schumacher

Wheels4Change Founder and Executive Director