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Unicyclist rides through the Ozarks raising money for charity

Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A man unicycling his way across Route 66 stopped in the Ozarks.

Peter Frank, 19, is raising money for a charity making a difference in his life. Frank has been riding a unicycle since he was 11. After a tragic accident, he was told he may never be able to ride his unicycle again.

“I was run over by a car when I was 14-years-old, I broke 14 bones in my body, and that’s including my L-1 and L-2 vertebrae in my spine. I have three titanium rods in my body to this day,” said Frank.

He says he took the news pretty hard.

“I was pretty distraught, because I had been unicycling for three years at the time, and to be told you’re going to have to stunt all of your dreams, all of your future plans, everything you’ve been thinking about and thinking about your future with has now just gone down the drain,” said Frank.

After months of rehabilitation, he was able to relearn how to walk and eventually unicycle again. He is traveling across the country to raise money for Beacon House in Marquette, Michigan, the charity that helped his family stay near the hospital while he recovered.

“When you’re 14-years-old, and you have to relearn how to walk, it’s not something everybody goes through,” said Frank. “That’s not something you can go online and look at a YouTube video for and say, oh, what’s it like relearning how to walk in 14. You know that’s something that you have to kind of go through alone.”

Frank is unicycling his way down Route 66, starting in Chicago and ending in Arizona. He will stop here in Springfield this week.

“I want to be an inspiration to a lot of younger people who may be struggling through things that I’ve gone through, or just anything that they’re running through in their life right now that they may be having a hard time with,” said Frank. “I think that what I’m doing and my message might be able to inspire a lot of other kids that were just like me and don’t know where to go in the world.”

His goal is to cycle 30 miles a day until he reaches Flagstaff, Arizona, and raise $100,000 for Beacon House. To track Peter’s progress, click here.

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