Man biking across the country for cancer research makes stop in Arizona

A man cycling his way across the country for cancer research has made a stop in Arizona.

Shem Flitton is biking 1,753 miles from the Canadian border all the way to Nogales, Mexico. He's raising money for cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

This past week, he made stops in Flagstaff, Gilbert and Tempe.

"My grandma says I'm stupid, my wife says I'm absolutely nuts," Flitton said. 

But for the Utah biker, it's a personal matter.

"I've lost a lot of people to cancer in my life, my mom died of cancer 12 years ago," Flitton said. "My grandpa died of cancer four years ago, I thought, I don't like to run, I hate running, but I can go raise my bike and raise money."

His wife, Annie, says he's crazy, but for all the right reasons. She's driving alongside him every step of the way with their kids, passing out water and snacks.

"He likes to have enormous goals and tackle them," she said.

They've seen plenty of sights along the way.

"One of the magic moments - I had a herd of bison running alongside me one morning and went in through Yellowstone, started riding," Flitton said.

However, the journey wasn't without some road bumps.

"It was hard, I was constantly exhausted," he said. "Get up early, get on bike, ride. As soon as I got off the bike, I'd have to start recovering."

"There was 68,000 feet of climbing and…I'd get to those really hard stretches, and it was - it's easier than chemo," he continued. "If someone's on chemo they don't have that opportunity to just get off the bike and stop."

And it's that motivation that keeps him pedaling.

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