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Cancer survivor rides cross country for charity

Posted at 8:27 PM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-05 23:27:55-04

At 62, Tom Bonham is soaking up every moment these days. Just two weeks ago he learned a battle he'd been fighting for years had finally been won.

"Cancer is a nasty disease, when you get it, it changes your whole perspective. Not only physically does it change you, but in your head, it changes you," said Tom.

Tom first heard that dreadful diagnosis in 2020. Doctors discovered a tumor during a routine checkup.

"I had no symptoms. I went to a gastroenterologist, and they did an upper GI scan on me and they found a mass in my bladder," said Tom.

He immediately had surgery to remove it but shortly after, he couldn't get a hold of his doctor's office. At this point, the coronavirus pandemic had swept the nation. When he finally reached them, he says what he was told left him at a loss.

"They said 'well we all changed networks and no longer take your insurance' and I'm like 'dude I have cancer, what am I supposed to do?'" he said.

Feeling hopeless and scared, he turned to Cancer Treatment Centers of America who have now been by his side ever since. After more surgeries and bouts with chemotherapy, he's now cancer free and determined to help repay the folks who stood by him along the way.

"So I want to do something for them," said Tom.

On June 12, Tom and a close friend will hop on their motorcycles and ride from Phoenix to Nova Scotia, Canada — celebrating life while attempting to raise one dollar for every mile along the route.

"I think it's about 6,000 miles round trip," said Tom. "Some people have been a little concerned about me doing it but I told them I have to do this. It's in my heart. I have to help some way."

Tom set up a GoFundMe where every cent will be donated to the H.O.P.E. Team Service Alliance. The charity assists cancer patients and their families every day.

While he's been on many trips like the on he's embarking on now, this time will certainly feel different. He wishes it will send a powerful message to those fighting for their lives to keep fighting. He's giving all he can so no one has to face it alone.