Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 20 May 2016
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Tony Seidl was met by a large welcome party in Padua after completing his Parkinson’s 100 Challenge. Along the way he faced mountainous terrain, a small flood and treacherous descents, but in the end fulfilled his promise by completing his 519km bike tour across Germany, Austria and Italy. Here, in his own words, Tony recalls the final moments before crossing the line
Promise fulfilled, challenge completed
On the last few metres of the home stretch, the thought running through my head was that pushing the pedals just once more would get me to my goal. Turning the corner, on the road to Prato della Valle, Padua’s central square, I could already see the welcome party. They were waving, cheering, taking pictures with their cameras, and there was even a camera team from a local TV station. And they all just came for me and my tour – it was simply unbelievable!
“I finally fulfilled the promise that has defined our lives for the last weeks and months”
When I arrived at Prato della Valle, Padua’s main square, I was overwhelmed by my emotions. I had been planning this journey for more than two years now; starting with the promise I had made before the neurological surgery and became a possibility after my successful deep brain stimulation therapy. I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams that it would become this big, that I would meet so many people along the way, and be able to share my story and listen to theirs.
At the square, I got the biggest surprise of all; my wife, Christiane, had travelled all the way from Altoetting, Germany, just to be here with me in this very special moment where I finally fulfilled the promise that has defined our lives for the last weeks and months. Without her constant support and love, none of this would have been possible and I am so lucky, and so proud to have her at my side.
After being welcomed and congratulated by everyone, including representatives from Parkinson Italia, European Parkinson’s Disease Association, as well as other local patient associations and other Parkinson’s 100 Challenge participants, I was guided to the Basilica of Saint Anthony. Here, Father Enzo Poiana, rector at the Basilica del Santo was already waiting for me and he took me to visit the tomb of Saint Anthony. It was just then that I realised: I made it.
Learn more about Tony’s Parkinson’s promise and read his previous diary updates here
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