CATAULA, Ga. (WTVM) - A local man is hitting the road today and he plans to ride more than five thousand miles on his motorcycle to raise money for local cancer organizations.
Stephen Wilson, a Cataula native, is starting his fundraising ride today. He plans on visiting every city on the eastern half of the United States with the name ‘hope’ in it.
The 10-day trip will run through 8 towns and cover more than 5,000 miles. Wilson says his goal is to raise seven thousand dollars for local cancer patients.
This is the second year for the Ride for Hope and the fourth year that Stephen Wilson has ridden his motorcycle to raise money for the West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition (WCGCC). The organization raises money to assist cancer patients with expenses beyond the direct medical costs, such as rent or groceries.
“It assists people with things like rent, gas, grocery bills so that they don’t have to worry about the everyday things of life while they’re going through the treatment,” explains Wilson.
During his ride, Wilson wears various colored ribbons on his vest and his chaps. Each bears the name of a person who has or has had cancer. His Harley-Davidson motorcycle also has four ribbon decals for people he honors in a special way as he rides. All four are friends of Stephen who have had cancer and one whom died this past June after a two year bout with cancer.
“The ribbons personalize cancer for me. Cancer is not an abstract idea. It directly affects individuals and families, and each ribbon has its own story and history,” says Wilson.
Wilson says he also loves being on the road because of all the new people he is able to meet and because he can help spread awareness about cancer patients and their needs.
"It is the small everyday interactions that can really make my day when I have been riding 12 hours in the rain. It makes it all worthwhile. It is those moments when I think I bring a little hope to others, but they give me hope also.”