Minnesota man riding 11,000 miles around the country on a bicycle while battling cancer
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Imagine riding a bike 11,000 miles around the United States. Now imagine doing that while having stage 4 prostate cancer.
That is exactly what Scott Freitag is trying to do. “I got into biking heavy in my 20s. I had this dream to bike around all the exterior states.”
He has full support from his wife Katy. “I said if that’s your dream and that’s what you want to do, then let’s figure out how to do it.”
So far, the journey has been hard. They have faced challenges such as their GPS messing up, torrential rainfall in New England, and finding adequate places to stay the night. Katy recalls one instance that stood out from when she and Scott were going through New England. “The route had washed out, and there was no one there. Someone drove up and said “Are you okay?” he said “No.” so, they picked him up, drove him to town, and saved him another 12 miles of walking.” Scott had already walked 8 miles prior to when he was picked up too.
Training for the past two years has made the physical aspect of the trip easier. So far, he’s ridden almost 3,000 miles. However, Scott and prostate cancer is not the only thing motivating Scott to do the bike ride.
Scott’s son Benny died by suicide two years ago. It turned out he was battling schizophrenia, but he didn’t show any visible symptoms. Scott describes what his son was like.
“Benny was a very quiet kid. At the same time, he could throw out some one-liners that were just hilarious.” Benny also enlisted in the military, serving for three years.
The Freitags are taking donations along the ride. Those donations will go to prostate cancer research and the Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance.
“I told Katy I said I want to do something to make a difference. Not only honor my life but also honor Benny’s as well.”
Scott was diagnosed with prostate cancer 6 years ago. By the time he had been diagnosed, it was spreading very quickly. “Scott’s wasn’t detected early. It had already escaped the prostate. It’s stage four.” Both Scott and Katy encourage people to get physicals more often by the time they’re 40 so they are less likely to have the same happen to them. In addition, prostate cancer in younger people is more likely to be aggressive like what Scott is dealing with.
They took a break for Scott to get treatment at Mayo Clinic to help limit the spread of his cancer. They will be heading back to Virginia this weekend to continue their journey.
Their goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of the ride in June of next year. So far, they’ve raised a little more than $100,000. Despite the challenges, the ride will go on. Katy had this to say for her final thoughts. “A lot of challenges with it. In spite of that, he’s on the bike day after day, hour after hour on the bike and it’s pretty extraordinary.”
If you want more information on their journey or are looking to donate, we’ll have a link to their website here.