Local 4 photojournalist bikes cross-country for a cause

Dave Klein bikes across US South in honor of friend with colon cancer

Local 4's chief photojournalist Dave Klein is biking from Los Angeles to Florida to promote preventative care in honor of his dear friend, who has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

Local 4′s chief photojournalist Dave Klein is biking thousands of miles across the Southern U.S. in honor of his dear friend who has cancer.

“I’ve always wanted to do a cross-country ride, and (thought) ... why not use it as an opportunity to do something worthwhile?” Klein said.

The photojournalist recently embarked on a more than 3,200 mile bike ride across the U.S. South, starting in Los Angeles and heading for Florida. He is peddling for his dear friend Donna, who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

“She’s just kept a really good attitude about it,” Klein said of his friend. “She’s incredibly positive and has such a good spirit.”

Related: Local colon cancer survivor urges screenings after losing sister to disease

So far, he has completed 1,600 miles of the trip. He says his ride, which began the week after Thanksgiving, is largely dictated by the weather and wind.

Klein says it has been mostly a smooth ride so far, though he has had to stop for unexpected repairs that set him back. Still, he says that the people he’s met along the way have made for a special journey.

“The people along the way have just been incredible,” Klein said. “Whether it’s a grandmother and grandson letting me stay in a heated camper on one freezing night in Texas, to a couple that I just happened to meet at a truck stop while eating granola and one thing led to another, and they said ‘Hey, if you ever need a hand in Albuquerque’ -- and, come to found out, I needed some work done there.”

Klein wishes for his friend Donna and anyone battling cancer that they have the hope they need to continue their fight. He also hopes that his trip will amplify a message of importance when it comes to keeping up with preventative care.

“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States,” Klein said. “It is not just an older person issue; one in five people who have it are between the ages of 20 and 54 -- and that is the age category that Donna is in.”

Klein is in the home stretch, and we wish him luck on the rest of his ride!

Related: Americans urged to get colon cancer screening earlier

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.