Man devoted to raising awareness on suicide prevention bicycling across entire country, shares his story during stop in Fargo

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- One pedal at a time. That’s the motto Daniel Hurd lives by and ‘live’ is what this is all about. You see, Daniel is a suicide survivor and he's using his bike to spread a very important message across the country.

Another state for Daniel Hurd to check-off the list.

"Today was a struggle but every pedal, I made it. Crossing over this bridge really made it worth it and making it to state number 30," says Daniel Hurd.

That means another place to spread his message. You see, a couple years ago Daniel’s life was very different. He just got out of the hospital after his third suicide attempt and he was already planning to do it again but then something happened.

"A friend got me on a bicycle and little did I know after three rides it would change my life," says Hurd.

He found a new form of therapy and pedal after pedal, he has learned to focus on the now.

"It made me realize how much I worried about my future due to financial struggles which was a large amount of my third suicide attempt and a lot of my past, PTSD from my childhood, early age drug use and military PTSD," says Hurd.

He was looking for ways to heal and his therapist suggested doing something to keep him positive and since he's a veteran, he wanted to visit the people he served with no matter where they live in the country.

"For whatever reason, lightbulbs went off in my head. I was like dude I’m going to ride my bike and I’m going to visit everyone I know that I served with that I possibly can," says Hurd.

Now about a year and a half later, he's still going strong and visiting places he has never been, like North Dakota.

He started off the journey with no savings but Hurd tells us generous people he has met along the way, have help him keep going, some even giving him a pillow to rest his head at night.

"I lost my 16-year old son to suicide two and half years ago," says Reynolds North Dakota resident, Tina Black.

One of those people is Tina Black. She tells us she understands Daniel’s journey because she lives it.

"Know exactly the feelings and the emotions and the frustrations that go along with trying to help people understand," says Black.

That's why she wants to help Daniel get his message across, throwing out the stigma of mental illness and getting help for those who need it.

As for Daniel, he still has quite a few stops to make on his journey but he plans on spreading his words of hope far beyond the miles he pedals.

"A lot of people are afraid unfortunately of getting stereotyped. it's not worth putting yourself at risk, it's more important to get the help you need and really get people understanding that you're struggling so you can get to the next level and get out of that darkness," says Hurd.

If you happen to see him during his trek across America, give him a wave. He’s happy to say hello to anyone who might need it, more than they think.

If you're interested in helping with Daniel’s mission, there's a fundraising event happening for the whole month of September which is Suicide Prevention Month. This is a community ride that you can get involved with anywhere you are. You can find a link to that below:

https://www.opaatmovement.com/

Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling, the number to the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. It’s available 24 hours a day.