Disabled survivor of abuse is cycling around the world to give hope to others struggling

Martin was born with diabetes and a rare bone disease, which caused physical and mental pain  (Picture: Caters News Agency)


Martin Ziervogel wants to give hope to others struggling. He knows about life’s challenges. He was born with a rare bone disease as well as diabetes and suffered abuse throughout his childhood, which led to depression. It’s taken a lot of work to get to a healthy place. But rather than seeing himself as a victim, Martin wants to be a hero, raising awareness of abuse and giving hope to those struggling. ‘In my childhood and adolescence, I was repeatedly sexually abused,’ he explains on his fundraising page. ‘I suffer from a rare metabolic disease, so I was always physically disadvantaged and did not always have it easy in my school days. ‘Due to these negative experiences in my childhood I fell into a deep alcohol addiction. This went on for many years because I could not understand the past and wanted to suppress everything.

He’s now in a healthy place, and wants to use his experiences to help other people (Picture: Caters News Agency)


‘I had no desire to live anymore, after many crashes, stays in a psychiatric clinic and many unpleasant experiences, I woke up. ‘I know what it’s like to be abused, and I want to help the children deal better with their suffering.’ In May Martin embarked on a 4,500km cycle through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia. He plans to keep cycling – and then walking – around the world to continue inspiring people suffering with mental and physical illness. The next part of his trip will mean ditching the bike to travel by foot through the Himalayas, followed by a trip up Mount Everest. It’s no easy feat. Martin’s diabetes has caused bone deformity and bow-leggedness, while the isolation of travelling alone has taken its toll.

Martin is travelling the world to raise money for charity (Picture: Caters News Agency)


‘The hardest part is the solitude of going through it all alone,’ he says. ‘But I have already met or been contacted by so many people by who told me they have been through the same thing and how I have made a difference. ‘It makes my heart jump and gives me the strength to finish the rest of this journey with a smile on my face.’ But he’s found that exercise has helped him to combat his depression – discovering a passion for Ironman challenges has helped him through low moments and given him a sense of purpose.

He hopes to give people hope when they have none left (Picture: Caters News Agency)


Martin’s journey around the world is raising money for a German organisation that helps sexually abused children, as well as for the Special Olympics. He’s raised thousands so far. ‘I decided to become a hero rather than a victim by giving hope to those who don’t have any left,’ says Martin.

‘I know how it feels to be abused, and the reality is that a lot of people turn a blind eye. This journey is about raising awareness so it can be detected early. ‘My physical handicap made school a living hell, and these experiences left me full of shame, disgust and fear. ‘My dream is to show these kids that life is always worth living, no matter how much it feels that way.’

Herzlich willkommen!

Willkommen auf meinem Blog. Im Mai 2018 geht es los: Mit dem Fahrrad um die Welt. In Asien werde ich meine Traumreide beginnen. 20000 spannende und herausfordernde Kilometer erwarten mich. Im Gepäck ein Zelt, Hilfsmittel die ich zum Leben brauchen werde, eine Menge Motivation und Freude am Reisen und Leben. Ich werde euch von Erfahrungen berichten. Viele Fragen mich wie ich das machen kann. Die Antwort: einfach machen. Na klar habe ich Angst aber ich habe mich gut vorbereitet und gehe ganz entspannt an dieses Abenteuer. Wichtig ist mir meine Familie und meine Freunde. Ich habe die beste Familie und die besten Freunde die man sich vorstellen kann. Das gibt mir Kraft. Ich habe bis her alles gemeistert was ich mir vorgenommen habe. Ich wünsche euch viel Spaß beim lesen und danke euch von Herzen für die Unterstützung. Ihr seid super:).