West Virginia University alumnus bikes across country for disabled man
WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- While Frank Fumich pedals and pushes his limits to cycle cross-country, Ryan Diviney and his father Ken will continue charting a course of their own: Trying to piece Diviney's once-promising life back together.
“I have found myself in basically the toughest cycling race in the world – for somebody that hates to bike – go figure, right,” Fumich said. "My main goal is to keep Ryan relevant."
“[Diviney] was a student at West Virginia a little over five years ago and he was beaten up by a couple guys and basically left as a vegetable,” said Fumich, a local endurance athlete.
According to his father, Diviney has been diagnosed as “minimally conscious,” which he says is just the “basic level.”
Fumich says Diviney’s story really hits home.
“[We’re] both from northern Virginia,” he said. “Both come from nice families. Both went to WVU. I went there as well and I thought how easily something like that could’ve happened to me when I was there.”
So this endurance runner is going to the extreme - for Diviney.
“The race is 3,000 miles – from Oceanside, California to Annapolis – in 12 days or less – but the clock doesn’t stop. I’ll be looking at about three hours sleep every day and the rest literally on the bike. Eat on the bike. Do everything on the bike.”
Fumich is making the trek to raise awareness and money to help the Divineys, as Ryan’s round-the-clock care costs millions of dollars.
“It’s tough to understand doing that. I think [Fumich] is going 250 miles a day – on a bike,” said Diviney's father Ken.
A parent dealing everyday with the unimaginable.
“Two and half decades ago when [Diviney] was born, I was willing to accept whatever condition he was born into and put in that sort of effort and that hasn’t changed,” he said.
A weekend warrior vowing to go the distance.
And 3,000 miles - for Diviney's sake.
“I’m trying to realize what poor Ken and his family deal with every day," Fumich said. "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Two weeks of cycling and it’s over. But Ryan and Ken and his family are in this for God knows how long? I’m trying to just keep that in my mind and keep going – because I know they have to.”
To contribute to Fumich's fundraising efforts, visit his website here.