A call came into my cell phone at 5:09AM this morning.
Unfortunately, I was outside with the dogs and missed it.
I saw it was Frank (Fumich) that called, but left no message. I immediately thought he was calling to tell me that he was tapping out. That, although he had covered over 2,300 miles biking across America, climbed the Continental Divide, overcame desert temperatures of 120 degrees, and who the hell knows what else he did, that the last 700 miles were out of reach… It was just too much for any man, even Frank.
It didn’t help knowing that, of all the racers in his group, roughly 40% have already have already quit!
I resisted the urge to call him. I didn’t want to break his stride, interrupt a rare break, or wake him from an even rarer sleep. I texted him this instead: I see you called me earlier. I must have been outside with the dogs. Please call back when you can.He called back IMMEDIATELY! Now I was damned sure he didn’t finish. I also knew, if that were the case, he was hospitalized because that’s the only way he’d ever quit. I exhaled deeply and braced myself.
I was wrong. Thank goodness, I was so wrong!
Still, I could clearly hear the exhaustion and desperation in his voice. The first thing he said was “I’m struggling and need motivation”. It was as if he were talking in his sleep. Mumbled. Shallow.
Right then, without thinking it through, I told him that I’m heading to Clarksburg, WV and I’ll wave and shout to him as he passes by me in the morning. It seemed to help his spirits. Well, for a moment. His voice soon fell off and, honestly, I didn’t understand most of what he was saying. The best way I can describe it is like when someone is babbling in their sleep in the midst of a horrific nightmare.
I believe he was going in and out of delirium.
Folks, please believe me when I tell you, Frank needs your support! Maybe post an encouraging message on his Facebook page. Perhaps, if so inspired, visit his website that has raised close to $74,000 for Ryan already. If you’re along the route, make a sign and come out to cheer him as he labors by you.
Here is a table that estimates his location for the last 571.40 miles:
If you want to track Frank’s progress, here is a direct link to his results; on the official Race Across America page.
Everyone should be interested in what Frank plans to do after he reaches the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland… but he asked me not to tell you.
It will blow your mind, for sure!
The one thing I can say is he arranged an all-are-welcome (except the Vantrease or May families/contingents; who are expressly forbidden), informal event at Seacret’s (Ocean City, Maryland) when this is all over. Likely on the evening of June 29th. Frank graciously made his nearby apartment available to me and my daughter so, barring something unforeseen, we will be there.
If you’re on the Del-Mar-VA coast, please stop by!!!
It’s a pleasure to find someone who can think so clearly
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Michele B says
If the information I read is correct, Frank finished the race! He was met by multiple news stations and so many people! This is what Team Diviney does!
How are you holding up now Ken?
Cori Miller says
Michelle, he did not “finish” the race. He DNFed in Ohio, but continued biking until he reached Clarksburg, WV (which is where his family is from). He did, however, raise over $100,000 for Ryan. He was, indeed, met by multiple new stations in Clarksburg. 🙂
Michele B says
Thank you for the correct information Cori – still so very proud of Frank! He did amazing!!! And the money he raised for Ryan – and the attention he brought to Ryan – priceless! Thank you again!
Corinne Cox says
Absolutely phenomenal turn out! Over 100 people showed up to root for Frank when he came through Clarksburg. He was even police escorted! Multiple news stations were there. People ranged in ages from 1-101! People were the from Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and even North Carolina! I think everyone was in tears when Frank pulled up and when Ken gave his speech. Absolutely moving! I wish all of you could have been there to experience it!
Lori Waters via Facebook says
There is every reason to stop, says every muscle in your body. But your heart is the one reason to keep going. Finish strong!
Rachel Valencia via Facebook says
Let’s Go Frank!!!!!! I’ll be watching for you to pass through parkersburg, wv!!!!!
Frank, you are an amazing man and an inspiration to us all. God bless you over the next few days. You can do this!
Erin McGee Turner, DJO Class of ’88
Heather Kurcaba Yost via Facebook says
Keep pushing!! You can do this for Ryan!!
Candy Bradshaw via Facebook says
God bless you!
Natasha Foster says
Frank, you are an inspiration to us all and I know you will make it for Ryan. You make me want to do more for others, you really amaze me with your selflessness. God Bless You!
Brian Vo via Facebook says
Jane Leckert via Facebook says
Go Frank Go!!!!
Marie Specksgoor via Facebook says
How we doing? have we heard anything?
Welcome to OHIO today Frank. I’m sure you experienced some of the storms we are having. You are an amazing athlete to endure what you have yet just keep on going. Great job! I’m thankful for the lower temperatures and lower humidity forecast for the next couple days. Good luck and we will say a prayer for you tonight.
Tammy Werth via Facebook says
You already did an awesome job! Stay strong but stay SAFE!
Linda Matsko via Facebook says
Dear God, I’m amazed by this entire story, the Divineys, the Fumichs — I’m amazed by You. There are things in this story that I cannot comprehend, most of it actually, yet their hearts show such love, devotion….be with them all, revive their strength and hope. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Beverly Vogel Cook via Facebook says
Frank, no doubt you will do this…you have the power…..Much Love and Light….
Beth Jaekle via Facebook says
C’mon Frank….praying for strength for you!
Go Frank GO! Our prayers are with you!
Mike L says
I would also like to know when and where folks are cheering him on as he comes through Clarksburg. I’m a stone’s throw from RT 50 and would love the offer encouragement.
Corinne Cox says
Mike, he will be check in at West Union between 8-850. He will be taking 50 to Davisson Rd/98 (rd that connects by old UHC hospital), crossing from there over to the rd where the VA park is located, going past the VA, across to go past RCB high school rd, up Joyce Street to old Bridgeport hill and then from there will get pack onto 50. A bunch of us are thinking of meeting up at the VA park. He will then travel on 50 to Grafton. 🙂 Hope this helps!
Mike L says
Thank you and God bless. We hope to add our voices to the cheers.
Karyn Mandracchia Ahern via Facebook says
Frank keep up the great job you got this Do it for Ryan !! You have to be his legs because he can’t do it himself. Keep on going !!
He just needed to hear your voice to be reminded of what you do every day for Ryan so he could keep pedaling for him. Two remarkable men; one great cause — you guys got this! And Team Diviney/Team Ryan have your backs, all the way to Annapolis and beyond <3 Never ever give up!
Praying for Frank!
Kelly Shannon says
I don’t know you, Frank, but my goodness how you are inspiring so many people! I am working in Berkshire England or I would certainly be in West Virginia to encourage you onward this Saturday! I am immensely proud to see your American spirit shining through to bring help to Ryan’s family. I understand dedication from my Dad who came to America from Ireland to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and subsequently fought in the name of America in Vietnam, to all the Moms and Dads who daily struggle to care for their families because it is simply ‘the right thing to do.’ Keep pumping those legs one mile at a time. The light at the end of the ‘tunnel’ should be coming into view soon. God bless you Frank and God bless Ryan and his family!!
Cindy Blackwell via Facebook says
Praying for you Frank! Ay God renew and refresh your strength to see you to the finish line. With God’s help anything is possible and I believe in you.
Marie Specksgoor via Facebook says
You can do this frank for Ryan and all the others out there suffering from a TBI. I Lost my son three months ago from a TBI. Knowing that people like you are out there doing something to make Ryan relevant makes my heart sing! So keep going YOU GOT THIS!
Kathy Petrasic Sullivan via Facebook says
Praying for you Frank, you’re almost there and it will feel so amazing. Such an incredible thing that you are doing to support Ryan!
Nancy Jane Null via Facebook says
Praying for you Frank. You Are THE BOMB!!!!!
Cinda Elswick via Facebook says
You’ve got this Frank! You are doing an amazing thing for Ryan! !! May you find the strength to go the distance! !
Go Frank Go…push thru and remember the reason for doing what you’re doing…prayers for you and pushing thru
Andrea H says
Praying for strength! You CAN do it! Your work is appreciated more that you will EVER know.
Pat Dyer via Facebook says
You must be an amazing person to put yourself through this torture and I am in awe of your commitment. I pray for your health and safety as you continue your journey. Be blessed dear sir.
Amy Spencer via Facebook says
Frank you got this. What you are doing is amazing. Keep pushing for Ryan. Prayers
Rita Wall Mosley via Facebook says
Ok Frank…you have made it over half way and through the sore muscles the aching body and mind you still pedal for Ryan and his family, I wish I could be there with you to cheer you on but I’m not, but you dang sure better believe that I am there n spirit saying in your ear “you got this Frank”. I am so proud of what you have accomplished through the heat, rain, and the aching “crotch” as you for stated n one of your earlier post. So you are in the home stretch and I’m one of those on the side of the road (in spirit) holding a big sign that reads:
GO FRANK, YOU CAN DO IT FOR RYANS RALLY AND FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT CAN’T DO IT FOR THEMSELVES. WE LOVE YOU AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET YOU GIVE UP ON YOUR SELF. KEEP PEDDLING.” See you at the finish line if I can find someone to drive me up there.
Corinne Cox says
Ken, is there any way I can send you my phone number so that I can get the details for when and where he will be going through Clarksburg, I live 15 minutes away and would absolutely LOVE to be there?!
Sending tons of love and prayers!
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Here is the best information I have for you: He is estimated to check in at West Union on 6/27 around 8am. He will travel RT. 50 until Davisson Run/98 and go by the VA across 98 and then over Joyce St to Old Rt.50 by Harry Green and then back on 50 thru Bridgeport to Grafton.
Corinne Cox says
Awesome! Thank you so much! I hope to see you there. Would love to finally meet you!
Chad Pearson says
We don’t know each each other but I have been supporting Frank for months during his training and have been giving much attention to doing whatever can be done to raise needed funds and awareness for Ryan. I want him to succeed very much and I appreciate that you were available to be that level of support Frank needed in his lowest moment.
Dear Frank, you have the power within, and I have total faith in your ability to fulfill your mission. May you feel the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as we earnestly pray for your safety and stamina. Lord please envelop Frank now in your merciful arms and let him now without a shadow of a doubt you are with him. Thank you God for sending Frank to Ryan, Ken, Kari and Sue. Your hope comes to us new every morning.
Linda Sorbello Ludlow via Facebook says
Praying hard for you Frank!
You have come SO far and are one AMAZING MAN!
You are on my ❤️ constantly! Father God, strengthen dear Frank in this very moment. Protect and empower him to accomplish his goal for precious Ryan and the Diviney family. Give wisdom to his Team. Please meet the needs that exit. Praying in the name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.
Lorraine Lundqvist says
This is about the incredible strength and fortitude of the human spirit. Frank’s ride is not so dissimilar to what Ken Diviney goes through every day….exhaustion, broken spirit, feeling like he is not living in reality because he is beyond what he can handle. As others have walked away from the race, others have also walked away from Ryan and Ken. The parallels are daunting. Hoping you will find the strength.
Robin Young says
Go Frank, Go! This story is so inspiring and what you are doing is simply wonderful. Praying for everyone and keeping my fingers crossed!
Bev Helmick Allen via Facebook says
Praying for you Frank !!
Kristi Hays says
Hang in there Frank!!!! You are doing a WONDERFUL thing!!!!
Marieta Pillus via Facebook says
Frank you got this!
Danelle Stephens Segers via Facebook says
I just sent a message to the news station in Parkersburg, WV who covered your story in St. Mary’s last summer…it appears as if he is traveling through there…would be great if they did a story and could get people together to welcome him into WV…I am in NC or I would definitely be there!
Carla Liberty says
Have been and will continue to pray for Frank’s safety, his spirits, and his strength. What a remarkable thing he is doing for Ryan. That he has come this far on his bicycle – something he is not trained for – speaks volumes for his indomitable will. God Bless Frank Fumich – God Bless his beautiful, selfless heart.
OMG! Frank is gonna meet that hammerhead in OC and swim across the Atlantic with the shark! Grandma would say the shark will be in good company, ’cause Frank’s a hammerhead for sure! Hahaha!
Go, Frank! Ride like the wind! God and Team Diviney are riding with you! God is blessing you, Frank, and giving you strength!! Ride on!
Gail Doyle says
Prayers to you Frank and Ryan Both Amazing!!!!!
Melanie Jones via Facebook says
There’s a group in Ritchie county WV waiting to cheer him on! We are right before the West Union stop.
McKenzie Slater via Facebook says
Frank you don’t know me and I don’t know you or Ryan but I have been praying for you both for sometime now. You are doing an amazing thing here and you will be blessed for it. Keep peddling my friend keep fighting for Ryan. Never give up.
Father we love ya and we are thankful for all your love mercy and grace lord. Father I want to lift Frank up to you today lord give him the strength to see this bike ride thru lord. Heal his already beating and brusied body lord. Father let him feel your spirit all around him and hear your soft voice as he travels these long roads. Bless him lord for his kidness and faith. We lift Ryan up to you father that you may lay hands of healing and hope on him lord. Give his family the strength they need to continue to fight for Ryan and to care for him. Give them all peace and love that only you can give in Jesus holy and mighty name Amen.
Keep peddling Frank, we are praying for you and cheering you on here in Southeast Iowa. #nevergiveup #bikingforryan #godwillseeyouthru
Heather Johnson Aaron via Facebook says
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Trish DeVaney via Facebook says
Not going to like this status because I don’t like that you are struggling. as I come off an overnight shift on my second job and I’m exhausted but nowhere near as exhausted as you are and I think about my son who is no longer with us and about how Ryan is with us and you are helping his family…. you are absolutely amazing
Angela Baldwin via Facebook says
Praying for Frank!