A California man has peddled thousands of miles across the country with his dog, raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Their latest stop was Monday in Elizabethtown.
In 2011, Flynn Donoho took off from his home in Huntington Beach, California, on a bicycle to embark on a journey to help others. Although he has had a few mishaps on the road over the years, such as getting hit by an 18-wheeler and getting bitten by a rattle snake, he said cycling across America while raising money for a cause that is near and dear to his heart has been worth it.
Donoho’s dog, Diva, has been riding along with him for the last five years.
“Not many people like to leave their comfort zone to help other people,” he said. “I wanted to help people and raise money for someone at the same time.”
Donoho said cancer affects nearly everyone in some way and he is no exception. His sister-in-law, Melinda, is a 6½ year breast cancer survivor. His stepsister died of breast cancer when she was 35 and cancer took his maternal grandmother before he ever met her. His younger brother recently was treated for prostate cancer. His wife has also died and he had to put his mother in an assisted living facility.
Donoho said all of this fuels his passion in spreading awareness.
Donoho usually stays in a tent at night. Sometimes, he’ll get a night in a motel or somebody’s house, usually from a member of a church he visits and other times, they’ll give him dog food for Diva. But Donoho never asks for it.
He said he gets what he needs by praying for it, ever since he became a Christian almost a decade ago.
“My whole thing is I rely on the Lord. I don’t ask nobody for nothing,” he said. “I don’t ask anybody for a penny, I ask the Lord. I get blown away sometimes when people just want to help.”
Since beginning his trek, Donoho said he has traveled close to 41,000 miles, hitting almost each state twice, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. On Monday, Donoho planned to head east on U.S. 62 through Lexington and on to Olive Hill.
“It’s been kind of cool. I’ve swam in all five great lakes. I got to go through Death Valley. I’ve been all the way around the perimeter of the United States,” he said, adding each time he ventures out, he takes a different route. Donoho said he has been in 149 newspapers and on 84 TV channels across the country during his endeavor so far.
To help his cause, Donoho encouraged residents to donate by going to teamacs.acsevents.org.
“Maybe we can get enough money raised and we can find a cure,” he said.