GALLIPOLIS — While some ride a bicycle for fitness or recreation, one man passed through Gallia County Monday with the intent on spreading cancer awareness and to raise money for cancer fighting research.
Flynn Donoho, 60, has been biking across the continental US since January 6, 2011 in the name of his mission. He first took to biking cross country in Huntington Beach, California.
“I’m raising money for the American Cancer Society and I’m a Christian so I spread the gospel as I go,” said Donoho. “The Lord says we have to spread love and I do all across the nation and I do that with cancer awareness, that’s the main thing…I’ve been roughly 48,250 miles, on 93 TV channels and 168 newspapers so far. I’m set to visit all 48 (continental US) states twice…I’m 14 states away from my goal.”
“I’ve had friends and family members who’ve survived and I ride in their honor,” said Donoho.
The rider said that before he became a Christian and cancer research advocate, he had struggled with addiction.
“I went downhill and was doing all types of drugs and pills to escape reality,” said Donoho. “I decided enough was enough and on July 4, 2006 I gave my life to Christ.”
When asked if his quest to raise money for cancer research also helped him while he helped others, he said it was just part of his “bucket list.”
Donoho also rides with his dog Diva who often walks along or rides in a trailer pulled by bike. In the trailer, Dohono carries tools, maps, food and water along with a tent and sleeping gear.
“I’ve been in all five Great Lakes and slept by probably every major river in the United States. I’ve been to almost every national park and I think that’s pretty cool,” said Donoho.
Donoho said near Kingsville, Texas, he was struck by a tractor trailer before being put in the hospital for roughly 12 hours and despite a hairline fracture in a vertebrae and a herniated disk, he continues to ride. He has experienced an F4 tornado as well as hurricane weather.
“I’m in the best shape of my life at 60,” said Donoho of his physical fitness even with his challenges. “Before I got hit I was doing like 60 miles a day and now I’m doing about 30.”
The rider says that he depends on the “Lord and prayer” as he continues across the country, trusting that he will be put in touch with the right people.
“There’s not one person I’ve talked to who said they weren’t affected by cancer in some way, so I felt it would be a good thing to do raising money,” said Dohono. “Life might bring you down sometimes but it (his mission) keeps me going.”
Those interested in donating to Donoho’s cause can visit www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/cycling-for-cancer1/flynndonoho.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.