Damien Rider Skateboards Through Joplin As Part of 2,500 Mile Jo - KOAM TV 7

Damien Rider Skateboards Through Joplin As Part of 2,500 Mile Journey to Help Raise Awareness For PTSD


2,500 miles is the length of Route 66 from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica, California. Damien Rider, fittingly, plans on skateboarding the entire length of the historic route in 66 days. But, for the 40 yr. old, this isn't just a thrill seeking adventure.

"I have an organization called the rider foundation and basically I've come through child abuse so we just want to help victims along the way and just help them keep moving forward. We're just raising money so we can build training institutes for these people to keep them moving forward," says Rider.

And Rider isn't making this journey alone. Long-time friend 42 yr. old Dan Osper is along for the ride.

"He asked if i wanted to go for a skate and talk about things. Well i already planned this so i said can you get 10 weeks off of work so we can go for a skate and talk about this."  

Dan and Damien haven't seen each other in 29 yrs, but after seeing rider's strides for child abuse awareness, Osper felt it was time to speak up.

Osper says, "Came to realize that as we were going through primary school together we were basically going through similar circumstances. My childhood was full of domestic violence a lot of psychological tension, manipulation. The affect that it had on me was much the same as Damien. We were both in our 30's before we really had to accept that we weren't really where we wanted to be as people.

Dan and Damien, currently in week two of their journey, say if they can help just one person suffering from any kind of PTSD, move forward, every mile will have been worth it.

"To figure out what their why is, and to have their why stronger going forward. Instead of why me? why did this happen? and everything going backwards. So it's pretty much just pressing the reset button on their life and just keep on moving forward," says Rider.

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