Man Cycles 700km To See The Sea Before He Goes Blind
A partially sighted man who was told that he had only weeks left before going blind cycled 434 miles to the coast so that he could see the sea before he lost his sight.
Marcin Zarnecki, 38, got on his bike in his hometown of Nowy Targ in the south of Poland and didn't stop until he got to Croatia's Adriatic coastline.
He suffers from an eye disease called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and has around 50 percent vision in one eye. He is completely blind in the other.
Doctors told him that he only had a short amount of time before he would lose his sight altogether, so he decided that he needed to set off to fulfil a long-held dream of seeing the Adriatic Sea, as well as his family in Croatia.
He didn't have enough money to pay for a flight, or to book a seat on a train, or even a coach, so he picked up his bike and got cracking. It took him two weeks, but he eventually managed to complete the journey of more than 700km.
He was met by great interest upon his arrival in Croatia and even became something of a local celebrity. People have also offered to put him up in their own houses along the way back when they learned that he was sleeping in a tent.
Anamarija Tomaskovic and her husband Alen agreed to share their flat in Zagreb with Marcin as he made his way back home.
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Anamarija Tomaskovic said: "Marcin is such a wonderful person - he smiles all the time, and is so positive."
Despite these kind offers, he might not need to take up the Tomaskovic's hospitality. A campaign has started on Facebook to get him home in a slightly easier way. People have been so moved by his story that they've also begun to raise money to help him get to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Marcin had tried to visit the park, but didn't have enough money to pay the 250 HRK (£30) entrance fee.
Upon his return, it looks like his fortunes might pick up too. Marcin was trained at music school to play a Gaida, which is a type of bagpipe, but he has struggled to find work through his talents, until now.
Anamarija continued: "He told us that his talents have been ignored and that he has never been able to find a job as no one took him seriously.
"But he told us that he will now play a concert in Warsaw, on July 29th. We are so happy for him."
Good luck to you, Marcin LAD.
Featured Image Credit: CEN