More MS news articles for June 2001

Cross-country journey draws awareness to MS

Sunday, June 17, 2001
By Beccy Tanner
The Wichita Eagle

Delbert Richardson has already accomplished a good portion of his dream.

The 47-year-old Wichita man with multiple sclerosis -- who is currently biking across America on a recumbent cycle -- has traveled through Seattle and San Francisco.

He cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge on May 24, and the mayor of Fresno, Calif., proclaimed June 3 as Delbert Richardson Day.

He is now beginning his journey across Arizona, averaging sometimes 40 to 80 miles a day.

"He's way behind schedule because of weather, hills and bike repairs, but once we get him going, he might be able to catch up on time," said Richardson's wife, Monique.

The goal, she said, is for him to have completed the trip by Sept. 7 -- the anticipated birth date of his second grandchild.

Traveling alone with just his medication and a few supplies, Richardson undertook the 5,000-mile trip to help raise awareness for the growing number of minorities affected by MS. The father of six daughters, he talks or e-mails his family almost daily.

Along his journey, Richardson has become somewhat of a celebrity. He's been featured on local television news programs of the towns he's passing through.

"When he stops for water or food, people see him and gather around to hear about the trip," Monique Richardson said. "He might have as many as 15 people around him and what may take a normal 45-minute stop ends up being two hours."

He is keeping a journal that has been posted on his Web site, http://www.cc2001.bizland .com so people can keep in touch with him. The Web site also shows people how they can make donations for his journey or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Monique Richardson said it is the family's hope that she and four of the youngest daughters can meet Delbert in Washington, D.C., when he completes the trip.

The family can't afford to buy six airline tickets, but they are collecting Kellogg's Advantage Miles. Kellogg's and American Airlines offer American Airlines miles on certain boxes of Kellogg's products.

To contribute, you can send box tops to Monique Richardson at P.O. Box 12521, Wichita, KS 67276.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 268-6336 or

© The Wichita Eagle