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Man bikes across the country to raise money for children with rare diseases

COLORADO SPRINGS. Colo, (KRDO)-- German cyclist Jörg Richter is pedaling coast-to-coast for the eighth time, raising money and awareness for Care-for-Rare, a nonprofit helping children with rare diseases.

Richter's trip this year started in March from San Francisco. He says that for a time, cycling the U.S. was nothing but a dream.

“I always dreamed about cycling in the U.S. since I was a kid," Richer said. "And so the natural choice was to fulfill that dream at least. And I said, I'm not going to do that only for my personal pleasure. There should be some sense in it. And as I have friends with a kid that has a rare disease, I found care forever, the foundation I'm cycling for.”

The Care-for-Rare foundation helps children with rare diseases by connecting them to doctors and hospitals in the U.S. with their network of doctors around the world.  Richter says taking on thousands of miles on his bike has allowed him to raise thousands of dollars for the non-profit, with plans for more rides in the future.

“We know about approximately 8000 rare diseases, and these are the orphans of medicine, because if you have only perhaps 50 kids all over the world with one disease, the industry isn't that interested in research and science because there's not that much money to make out of a few kids,” Richter added.

During this 25-week trip, he plans to stop at cities, seeking shelter at local fire stations. He's actually a retired firefighter, so the camaraderie is very familiar. Fire Station 4 in Pueblo accommodated him for a night over the weekend.

His next stop is Colorado Springs where he will be staying for the next two days. Richter says he hopes to end this journey in New York by the fall.

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Diana Castillo

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