BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Mississippi native riding his bike across the country said he doesn't mind the aches and pains if it means bringing encouragement to people who've lost limbs. Grey Tedford's trip from California to Florida raises money for a summer camp for children who have had amputations. On Thursday, the 19-year-old rolled through the Coast for a cause close to his heart.
Grey Tedford, a recent graduate of Holmes Community College, trained hard before making his longest bike ride ever. Still the 3,100-mile trip from coast to coast is a challenge both mentally and physically.
"The ride, I'm not going to lie, it's been pretty tough," said Tedford. "The toughest thing I've ever done in my whole entire life. Starting in San Diego, the first week it was okay. But once I started hitting the deserts, and flat after flat, hitting those goat head thorns out there, it became frustrating."
Tedford said he pushes on knowing he is raising money for the Amputee Coalition, specifically a program that reaches out to children.
"They hold a youth camp that I decided to raise money for and that youth camp I think it lasts for a week," said Tedford. "And it's called the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp located in Ohio. Kids can go there completely for free. The coalition pays for everything. Their flight. Their flight back and all of the food while they're there as well and it's good experience for the kids and that's why I'm doing it."
The college sophomore said this cause is one that touches him personally. His grandmother, his mother, and his father all had amputations.
"I really don't think people realize how hard it is for a person with an amputation to get around," Tedford said. "My dad, he can't even go to the post office by himself, go to the grocery store by himself. It's just hard on him. Living with your father who has no legs and no fingers on his left hand, he can't do a lot of stuff. He gets down on himself a lot. You've got to encourage him. I think I do a good job at it from what I'm doing now."
Tedford has also biked to raise money for the Gulf Coast Women's Center For non-violence and Tuscaloosa Tornado victims.
To learn more about Tedford's journey and how you can help donate to the causes he supports, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/19dm20