A bicyclist is riding 15,000 miles to help raise money for the children of St. Jude's Children's Hospital. On Saturday, he made a stop in the Permian Basin. He has spent his last few days bicycling through West Texas spreading the word about his cause to raise money for St. Jude's and families of children with cancer who can't afford the high cost of medical care.
Asking only for quarters and spare change, the journey Bernie Buffone refers to as Kittenrun2, is set to raise over 11 million quarters.
"That's what we're trying to do is raise the quarters to be sent into St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Anyone can pedal the bicycle, as long as this bicycle moves forward to collect the quarters for St. Jude's Children's Hospital and the children of St. Jude. It's not about me, it's about the bicycle and the children of St. Jude's Hospital," Bicyclist, Bernie Buffone, said.
Bernie started his journey on June 30 this year and plans to stop riding,
"When eleven million quarters are collected, it brings tears to my eyes," Buffone said.
When asked what drives him to bicycle across the country his answer was, "Stamina and the children. When I really think of the children of St. Jude's Hospital and how they really suffer when they can't eat, they can't sleep, they cry, they can't go home, that really affects my heart," Buffone said.
Each child's situation is different. But no matter the illness, St. Jude's Hospital does all they can to make each families life a little easier.
"Because each one feels like they could lose their child at any time. A lot of hope and a lot of blessings are given there at St Jude's Children's Hospital, a lot of research by the research doctors is being done to save each child," Buffone said.
The sole mission for Kittenrun2 is to raise money for cancer research but also for the families who need it the most.
"100 percent of the money that is collected goes to St. Jude's Children's Hospital because there's a lot of parents that can't afford it. They just cannot afford St. Jude's Children's Hospital and this is what we're doing the raise the money so they have the money there," Buffone said.
The cost to donate is so small that anyone can afford to help make a difference in a child's life.
"Everybody has a quarter in their pocket or somewhere, they have a quarter. Pocket change, a quarter, ten cents, everybody has that. You can send it into St. Jude's hospital, it all adds up," Buffone said.