Cycling duo travels cross country to raise awareness for a worthy cause

Cycling duo travels cross country to raise awareness for a worthy cause
Many of us volunteer our time for causes we believe in. Then, there are some who go the extra mile. 2,700 miles to be exact. (Photo source: WLOX)
Many of us volunteer our time for causes we believe in. Then, there are some who go the extra mile. 2,700 miles to be exact. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Another night spent in a motel, another morning spent packing up for another long journey. Time to hit the road with Brent Hayes riding for a reason.

"Just to bring awareness to the Paley Foundation and what he's doing for people throughout the world, mostly children," Hayes explained.

What Dr. Dror Paley does is save limbs with pioneering surgery, and for Brent Hayes, it's personal.

"Dr. Paley treated me in 2010. He lengthened my leg and straightened it. I had childhood cancer when I was three and a half, treated with chemo and radiation and left my leg shorter," Hayes recalled.

Another person who is being helped is a little girl named Kaylee Barton. She has former ties to South Mississippi. Her leg will be saved instead of being amputated.

So, are people responding to this two wheeled mission? Hayes had the answer.

"Overall, they've been very supportive. We've had people cook meals for us. We've had people make donations when they find out what we're doing and give us a donation on the road, but it's been pretty overwhelmingly supportive," said Hayes.

Now, you might think that bicycling from California to West Palm Beach, FL, is a grueling endeavor that takes a lot of physical energy. Well, you would be right, but then again, after a while, you kind of get used to it. That's what riding partner Ed Zatta told us.

"Originally it was tough. Now, it's just getting on the bike and riding every day. It's kind of like going to work at this point, sometimes. Just different scenery every day. At this point, we're getting along pretty well," Zatta said.

What's the hardest part so far for Hayes?

"The biggest thing, we're all away from our families, and our families have all been supportive. That's a big part, being gone for 44 days," said Hayes.

When the journey ends, the pair says it will all be worth it.

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