Aghabi not only has inspired his new-found fans, but has been inspired by those he has met on the road — particularly two Marine recruits whom he found walking across the country to raise money for cancer research. When he first crossed paths with George Crawford, 19, and Michael Ross, 18, on Route 40 — one carrying an American flag, the other strumming a guitar — Aghabi said, he admired how, eight months before their training would begin, they undertook the venture to benefit the Livestrong Foundation, raising $2,000 for the 15 to 20 miles they walked each day.
“I’ve learned that people in this country want to see you succeed, encourage you and root for something bigger than themselves,” Aghabi said, commending the dedication and focus of the new Marines. “People want to watch you succeed and be part of your success.”
Derek Gibbs — Aghabi’s riding companion, who joined the “Roll with Me” team back in April — was one of those who felt compelled to contribute to Aghabi’s mission. While on his own journey to meet fellow dreamers around the country and share their stories on his blog, “Our Shared Adventure,” Gibbs crossed paths with Aghabi in New Mexico, and became so moved by his endeavor that he joined his crew.
“I wanted to meet people who were living their passions on their own journey, actively seeking ways to express what they think is important,” Gibbs said.
Aghabi is now looking forward to returning home after 25 years, where his mother, father, sister and other relatives will welcome him on July 8. Updates on his trip can be found at www.rollwithme.org or Gibbs’s blog,