NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Bike riders from the group Stroke Across America “Journey for Recovery” Team made their way to Northampton Wednesday as they conclude their cross country bike ride journey.

The group says that this is more than a bike ride, it’s a journey to raise awareness about stroke, aphasia and the emotional and identity journey that those recovering go endure. The group began their cross country mission in Oregon on May 19th and then 4,300 miles and 100 days later they made it to the end of their ride in Boston.

The group is made up of three stroke and one brain injury survivor as well as countless allies and volunteers united to spread awareness on this important issue.

“Our goal with our work at Stroke Onward is to improve the health care system as it relates to supporting stroke survivors and their families and that’s going to take a village and a community and when you see that community come together, it’s inspiring,” said Steve Zuckerman from Stroke Onward.

Steve and his wife Deb formed this group after being diagnosed with aphasia 12 years ago, their goal with this ride is to continue to educate, inform and spread awareness on this widespread issue.

Photo courtesy: UMass Amherst

This was the second-to-last stop of the journey. They’ll end the journey in Boston on Saturday. Stroke affects nearly 800,000 Americans every year resulting in 137,000 deaths.

“The UMass Amherst Stroke Support Group and our allies are excited to welcome Debra and Steve as they nearly complete this challenging journey from coast to coast, spreading awareness of stroke and aphasia,” says Jacquie Kurland, associate professor of communication disorders and event organizer. “The ride is in some ways a metaphor for their post-stroke life’s journey: publishing “Identity Theft,” the seminal work on aphasia recovery; founding and growing the nonprofit, Stroke Onward; and helping so many others to navigate their own emotional journeys to rebuilding identities and rewarding lives post-stroke. We hope that attendees will be inspired by their journey and come away with a better understanding of aphasia.”