First Coast Man Rides Bike 500 Miles For Fundraiser | Community Spirit

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First Coast Man Rides Bike 500 Miles For Fundraiser
First Coast Man Rides Bike 500 Miles For Fundraiser

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A First Coast man is leading the charge to money for a little girl recovering from a heart transplant, using his bike to help ease the parents' financial burden.

Joe Mehm has always been a cycling enthusiast but he's never done a ride like this.

The daunting ride from St. Augustine to Key West was to raise money for the owners of Panama Hatties in St. Augustine, the Kivistos, and their baby Grace.

"Their baby had a heart defect, and was needing a heart transplant," Mehm said.

With the life-saving transplant complete, the medical bills piled in.

"Just decided I wanted to do something myself so I put together this Gears for Grace and put together a little website so we can take in some pledges," Mehm said.

Taking pledges from businesses, family and friends, Mehm left from Panama Hatties heading for Key West.

The 500 mile ride took six days.

"I think I know about every pot hole and rock along the way," he joked.

The pledges raised several thousand dollars for Grace's medical bills. But Mehm said, he doesn't feel like a hero.

"They've always been there for me," Mehm said. "Helped me out so this is my little thing to help them out."

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