Firefighter makes 6,000 mile trek across country for Make A Wish


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A firefighter is bicycling across the country on a 6,000 mile journey to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Chris Rupp arrived in Myrtle Beach as part of that journey on Sunday.

Rupp is staying at Station #6 in Myrtle Beach after a stop in Wilmington, NC. His journey started in Seattle on May 28th and since he has traveled up and down the country. He is slated to end his trip in Miami.

This is Rupp's second cross-country bike ride for charity. In 2011 he rode from San Francisco to New York… raising nearly $100,000. His goal is the same this time, $100,000 for Make-A-Wish. He's currently raised almost $40,000.

Rupp was inspired to raise money for the Make A Wish foundation, after he saw how the charity helped a family in his own hometown of Madison Wisconsin. "It was really special to see what Make A Wish gave them, you know, it gave them an opportunity to enjoy the time that they had left with their daughter," Rupp said. "So, it's my goal to bring that to other families who are faced with a similar situation."

So he took his summer away from fighting fires, and teaching pre-school to help. He's made it his mission to help fund wishes for kids fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Local chapters of the foundation keep 100 percent of the donations raised for Rupp's trek. As for himself, Rupp is paying for his expenses out-of-pocket. He relies on his Fire Service family, like here in Myrtle Beach, for places to stay. At each fire department he has stayed at, he gets a sticker for his bike.

And Along the way he gets to meet the children he's pedaling across the country for. "It's really rewarding to see them," Rupp continued. "And, you know we talk about super heroes in life, and people that are stronger than anything. And, it's the kids. You know, it's the kid that has leukemia that fights it everyday."

Rupp is expected to make it to Miami on August 16. He says Make A Wish will auction off his bicycle. Donations will continue for a month or so after his trip is over. When he's finished, Rupp says he will go back to work at his fire department in Wisconsin.

For more information on Rupp's goals, visit his website here:

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