#078 Emmaus Holder: An Epic FASD Journey Across America

fasd success show Aug 28, 2021


What is the craziest thing you have heard someone doing to raise awareness about FASD? How about riding across America by yourself, relying on the hospitality of strangers to feed you, give you a bed for the night and talk about FASD. That’s exactly what my guest today, Emmaus Holder, did. Not so crazy though, it was more an epic adventure or quest.  




Emmaus Holder is a student at UNC Chapel Hill studying Sociology and Music. He is the oldest of five and has two brothers with FASD. He enjoys music and playing any instrument he can get his hands on, even taking a set of harmonicas on his bike trip. After college, Emmaus hopes to study sociology or psychology, do more research, and teach about topics such as the social and emotional difficulties tied to psychological struggles such as FASD. 

I wanted to do a cycling tour and as the idea started to build, I wanted to put a purpose behind it. I wanted to have a reason to keep riding every day. 

We talk about the background, preparation and why this 19-year-old college student chose a bike tour across America to advocate for FASD, as well as: 

  • What it is like having siblings with FASD and the paradigm shift required to build relationships with them. 
  • Both the highs and lows experienced on this 4,300-mile journey 
  • What staying with families and talking to individuals with FASD taught him not only about FASD but also about himself 

There are huge systematic issues that have a lack of knowledge in so many different places and so from that sense trying to push the agenda is a very difficult thing because it’s hard to know where to start. With this, I think educating people is the biggest thing we can do and that’s the way we will tear down this massive systemic issue. 

It was interesting to experience the depth of this interview. While we started light and had some jokes and laughs, eventually Emmaus and I started to talk about the life lessons this journey taught him. What struck me was the parallel some of these lessons and ideas have with the journey as a caregiver, especially accepting help.  

This is a personal cause for Emmaus, and I do not doubt that we are witnessing someone who will go on to contribute important research into the field of sociology and FASD. Check out the show notes if you want to keep in touch with Emmaus and I hope he comes back when his paper is published! 

Show Notes: 

Emmaus Holder: 

Instagram: @emmaus_holder 

Facebook: Emmaus Holder 

Join our Group: FASD Caregiver Success Group 

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