Walking Toward an American Dream

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A Florida man affected by scoliosis and spina bifida will embark on 2,740 mile journey from Tamarac, Florida to Venice Beach, California -- on foot

Daniel M Urbaetis

You just have to get up and do it. My dream is to live the life of a writer. And if I'm not pursuing that, then I'm just filling time between 9 to 5. To me, that's not an existence.

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Tamarac, Florida September 8, 2008 -- On October 18, 2008, Daniel Urbaetis, a Florida man affected by scoliosis and spina bifida, will embark on 2,740 mile journey from Tamarac, Florida to Venice Beach, California -- on foot.

A veteran of the United States Coast Guard and former mortgage broker, Urbaetis is tackling his American Dream Walk after being evicted from the home he, his fiancé and four children occupied until his landlord defaulted on the mortgage. His eviction, in conjunction with living with two medical conditions, has helped inspire Urbaetis into reaching for his goals. While carrying a 65 lb. backpack filled with daily survival needs, Urbaetis will follow a detailed route that includes walking from two coasts and through 9 states. His goal is to raise public awareness for scoliosis and spina bifida and to convince naysayers that despite dealing with 2 potentially debilitating conditions, anything is possible.

"In this country, you have the opportunity to achieve anything you want," says Urbaetis. "You just have to get up and do it. My dream is to live the life of a writer. And if I'm not pursuing that, then I'm just filling time between 9 to 5. To me, that's not an existence."

In preparation for his journey, Urbaetis began walking 3 miles a day, eventually increasing the distance to 10 miles. He analyzed maps of the United States to determine the most "walker-friendly" routes -- not the shortest. In addition to physical training, Urbaetis devised a clever system of plastic bags for carrying extra clothing, first aid supplies and food.

To insure that his body continues to follow his will, he began supplementing his diet with Goji berries from Tibet Authentic. Grown at high altitude in Tibet, Goji berries have been used for over 2,000 years by people all over the world to enhance their immune systems, improve eyesight and to reduce the risk of cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. Goji berries are higher in antioxidants than any other food. By consuming the recommended 1 serving per day, Urbaetis is taking no chances when it comes to achieving his goal.

Daniel and his cause are being sponsored by a number of individual sponsors, including Tibet Authentic, Inc., a supplier of all natural products that is founded on the principles of Tibetan medicine and Metro Fashion Company, an international fashion and design company, that recently introduced its hip, urban stylish men's bracelets .

If you would like to support Daniel Urbaetis by sending him an email or donation, please visit his website, http://www.americandreamwalk.com. For more information about Goji berries and Tibet Authentic, visit tibetauthentic.com. For information about the cool lines by Metro Fashion Company, visit metrofashioncompany.com.

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