CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — He started in Manhattan Beach, California, more than a month ago. Now, Charlie Manzoni is working his way through the Midwest.
He’s on a coast-to-coast journey to fund cancer research. Thousands of miles down already, Manzoni has just a bit more to ride and raise.
On a mission to end the threat of childhood cancer, 72-year old Charlie Manzoni hopped on his bike and started riding.
“It all sort of aligned. I took the opportunity to do it. I wasn’t going to wait any longer. I’m getting pretty old.”
His son, Nick, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2011 while in high school. But thanks to the Childhood Cancer Research Fund, he made a full recovery. Inspired by his son’s fight, he’s traveling 3,400 in just 43 days.
“Nick got me interested in the whole process and introduced the CCRF to begin with. He’s one of the good stories, a good outcome and he’s doing well so far.”
Charlie is one of many people riding in the Great Cycle Challenge, but he leads the way in miles traveled and money raised so far with $17,000. While he’s wanted to make the trip for years, a good cause was what finally convinced him.
“That was the catalyst that got me out here. You know, there were other things that got me thinking about it, but wanting to use this opportunity to raise money for them was significant.”
Charlie will take all of Wednesday to rest and recuperate before getting back on his bike Thursday morning to make his way through Danville and Indiana. He has less than two weeks left in his cross-country journey.
All donations made Wednesday to Charlie and the other riders will be matched by the Great Cycle Challenge as part of the groups annual Kick Cancer’s Butt Day.