Franciscan friar pedals for the poor

Brother Shamus rides through Lewes on 1,500-mile trek
October 12, 2016

A Franciscan friar – with a penchant for cycling and helping the poor – pedaled his way through the Cape Region Sept. 14 on his latest fundraising ride.

Brother Shamus McGrenra, 69, left New York City Sept. 9 on a 1,500-mile trek to Sarasota, Fla., to raise money for the Dorothy Day Outreach Center at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa. He hopes to raise $40,000 during the 10-state, 8-week ride.

Determined to help the center, he doesn't let cancer slow him down. In 2013, he was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer and could not walk up a flight of stairs, let alone ride a bicycle. To help him raise funds, the university organized the first Bro. Shamus Shuffle, an event that continues today.

Now in remission, McGrenra got back in shape and back on the bike. In 2015 he completed a 550-mile ride from Pittsburgh to New York. “I'm living proof of the power of prayer and modern medicine,” he said.

During a stop on the Junction and Breakwater Trail in Lewes, McGrenra said this is his sixth charity ride, but the 2016 ride is longer than the other five rides combined. He's raised in excess of $100,000 during his rides.

“With the help of the Lord and hundreds of thousands of angels, I'll get to Sarasota the first week in November,” he said with a smile.

For sections of the ride, he will be accompanied by supporters who have met him during other charity rides. He plans to ride 50 to 60 miles per day, spending nights along the way with friends and alumni from his previous rides.

McGrenra said he's not only raising funds to help families in need, but he's also riding to increase cancer awareness and to serve as a role model for seniors to get active.

He said all of his expenses are covered so that every dollar raised is turned over to the center. To make a donation, go to ride.


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