Knoxville — Flynn Donoho of Huntington Beach, Calif., may not have a home or a job, but what he does have is a strong faith in God and a desire to help in the fight against cancer.
"I ride on the faith of God," Donoho said this afternoon. He has been riding a bicycle across the country for over 18 months. Tucked away in a trailer cart is his dog, Diva.
Currently traveling along Highway 5, Donoho stopped at the Stierwalt home, south of the Knoxville Regional Livestock Market. Donoho says God has provided him with many good, helpful people as he has ridden down the road. He has yet to go hungry or thirsty, as he has traveled a route he says the Lord has guided him through.
"He directs me and shows me which way to go," Donoho said. Along the way, he has received extensive media coverage from local newspapers. The attention he receives also shines a light on his cause, which is cancer research.
Donoho says he has lost many friends and family members to the disease over the years. He was especially touched by the death of a female friend, who succumbed to breast cancer.
"She was just beautiful," he said. Donoho also lost his adoptive grandmother to cancer. Prior to his ride, he was a live-in aid for an elderly man who suffered a broken neck. After the neck healed, the man was diagnosed with cancer, which took him quickly. This left him homeless.
"I decided I'm going to go ahead and ride for cancer," Donoho said. The ride can be painful at times, as he has traveled over 13,000 on three different bikes. As he sees it, some cancer patients are in pain all day, every day. A little pain from riding is tolerable compared to that.
Donoho has traveled across 34 states. He had considered circling around California, until bad weather and other complications showed him that God wanted him to travel east.
His planned route is to continue to follow Highway 5 into Des Moines. From there, he will travel to Omaha as he makes his way back to California.
"If I get back to California before Thanksgiving, that will make my mom's day," Donoho said.
Life has handed Donoho previous setbacks. He is a father who has not seen his children in seven years.
"I know God will let me see them eventually," Donoho said. The fact that he is homeless, and unlikely to find a job when he gets back to California, does not bother him. Jesus was homeless as well. Like Him, Donoho is on a mission.
Donoho hopes to raise $1,000 for the American Cancer Society. He has made at least $800. If you would like to make a donation, visit http://www.teamacs.acsevents.org and search his name.