BOWLING GREEN, Ohio —
German bicyclist Jörg Richter is completing a tour across the U.S. to raise money and awareness for Care-for-Rare America.
The trip started on March 22 in San Francisco and will end in New York during the first week of September after about 6,200 miles.
"We are looking for kids with rare diseases," he said. "The so-called 'orphans of medicine' that nobody cares about or not enough persons care about or even know about."
This trip is about 6,200 miles.
Richter said the biggest challenge that he faces during the trip is the heat and humidity, but he makes sure to appreciate it anyway.
"I always say these kids I'm cycling for would love to experience something like that," he said. "These kids, they stay in hospitals in AC room. They never will experience sweating, being dirty, being tired, so it's all to me. I say I'm the blessed one to do it."
His interest in Care-for-Rare came after a child of a friend was diagnosed with a rare disease back in Germany.
"It was the natural choice to say 'well I'm not going to do that for only my personal pleasure. There should be a sense in it and a purpose,' and I found Care-for-Rare and we were meant for each other," he said.
He collects donations from people he's connected with on the road and encourages people to donate online as well.
He is housed at fire stations throughout the country, most recently stopped at the Bowling Green fire station.
Richter is a retired firefighter from Germany and appreciates the support of over 400 stations that connect with one another, giving him places to stay on his journey.
He has had an interest in biking since he was young, after some of friends of his friends passed away. His current trip will net him over 30,000 miles biked once he is finished, marking his third cross-country trip after his first at 15 years old, biking from Seattle to New York.
He said he would not postpone anything he wanted to do anymore.
Richter is following his dream and connecting it with a charitable cause, and strongly urges others to do the same.
"Don't postpone your dreams," he said. That's what I learned from the kids. They take every day as it is. Don't wait for it. If you have a dream, fulfill it, do it now, not when. Because these kids know about if you postpone it too long, life is over."