Goen rides cross-country to raise awareness about living with disabilities.
He rounded the bases on the famed "Field of Dreams" baseball diamond just outside his hometown of Dyersville, Iowa, on a custom-made Harley Davidson, outfitted with special seats and accommodations for his psoriatic arthritis. From there, Tom "E.Z." Goen, 48, embarked in July on an epic, 48-state motorcycle trek with a mission—to raise awareness about living with disabilities and to let people know these conditions can be treated.
Three years ago, psoriasis covered more than 75 percent of his body, and severe psoriatic arthritis forced E.Z., as he likes to be called, to leave his job as owner of a successful restaurant and bar. He was hospitalized numerous times and battled depression. After doctors at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics prescribed the biologic drug Humira, his conditions improved dramatically, enabling him to head out on the highway.
He's grown a beard as a sort of good-luck charm. "I'm afraid to shave it," he said in a Dubuque Telegraph Herald article. "I might get sick again."
In order to receive his Humira shots on the road, Goen called ahead to a pharmacy in the next town he would be passing through, and kept a cooler with ice on the back of his motorcycle for the second injection.
In July, he stopped by the National Psoriasis Foundation headquarters in Portland, Ore., where he met the staff and shared stories. By September, E.Z. had reached Maryland and spent the next month traveling the Northeastern seaboard before completing his 14,600-mile trek in October. "This journey has been good for me," he said. "I gave up on myself for a while, but now I know I am going to make it."
Driving discovery, creating community
For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.