DODGE CITY–William Galloway, 56, started his cross-country bicycle trips about two years ago, after having enough of being told to trust a system he felt was designed to control and not help him after he suffered a brain injury due to a drunk driver. His recent trip brought him to the Thunderbird Motel on August 10 in Dodge City.
Originally from New Jersey, Galloway spent seven years in assisted living and four years in a group home for people with brain injuries. During his initial recovery, he had to relearn how to talk.
Prone to seizures and struggling from temporary job to temporary job because people were not willing to understand his situation, Galloway said he was frustrated at the complacency of his situation. He decided to take back his life in what ways he could and go on the road.
"Nobody would advocate for me," Galloway said. "I was pretty mad at what I lost, that being a decade."
Since then, he has opted for a nomadic lifestyle, traveling via bike across the country, a trip he has now made about six times, raising awareness about drunk driving and searching for a place to call home.
Galloway’s ultimate goal is getting into the Amen Clinic in Bellevue, Wash., a facility that he said is willing to accept him but it is taking time.
As he rides across the country, relying on the kindness of strangers and those who have heard his story, he is waiting for an opening for Amen Clinic’s hyperbaric chamber, from which he said it takes 20 to 30 sessions to see results. He hopes it will help with his seizures and concentration.
Galloway has traveled through many terrains and weather conditions, and as he pulled his small trailer of supplies — outfitted with flags, lights and a sign — through Dodge City, he asked what local organizations could help him. He is currently on his second bike, donated from a company in Orlando, Fla., after wearing down the first one.
He said many people have paid for meals, motel rooms and extra clothes in appreciation of his mission.
Sometimes he is accosted on the road and looked at with disdain by people thinking he is lazy or on drugs, and he has been run off the road and once his saddle bags were stolen off one of his bikes.
Galloway said his major needs are money for food and to maintain his cellphone, 20-inch high pressure tires for his bike, XXL T-shirts with pockets and a winter sleeping bag.
Those who want to help Galloway as he continues his journey may make donations at www.paypal.me/williamg799, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.