Thomasville Times Enterprise

Calendar of events

June 6, 2008

Pedaling for a cause

Teen biking 1,100 miles to boost awareness of hepatitis

THOMASVILLE — One motivated teen is on the road promoting his cause.

John Ellis, 17, of Pensacola, Fla., is riding his bike from Pensacola to Philadelphia, Pa., in an effort to raise awareness of Hepatitis B and support the Hepatitis B Foundation. He made a pit stop in Thomas County Thursday.

“It’s definitely an adventure,” Ellis said in a phone interview as he took a lunch break in Boston. “We got a late start the first day and the heat was unbearable, but we’ve gotten into a routine.”

Ellis’s journey is called the “Believe in the Cure Cycling Tour.”

He embarked on the endeavor June 2 at Tate High School in Pensacola. Accompanying him is his best friend, Jamaal Warren, with his mother and grandmother following behind in a van.

Ellis was a healthy teenager, the foundation release stated, until the results of a routine blood test revealed he had the disease. It was also a surprise because Ellis had received the vaccination in middle school. The youth was also told he would eventually need a liver transplant.

This was two weeks shy of his 16th birthday.

Hepatitis B is “the most common serious liver infection in the world,” the release said, and is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) that attacks liver cells and can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. It is transmitted through infected blood.

The disease is potentially fatal; there is no cure.

Ellis, armed with information, changed his diet, bought a bike for $50 from a local store and began riding it everywhere.

“I didn’t want to sit around and just fight for myself,” he said. “There are other people out there who have been affected by Hepatitis B. I was also concerned about staying healthy so I took up cycling. I want to spread the word.”

Text Only
Calendar of events
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Do you believe Israel's invasion of Gaza is justified?

     View Results
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read