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Cyclist’s cross-continental bike ride for grandson arrives in London

Photo of Ken Smith (right) and his grandson, Jakob (left). Photo courtesy of Ken Smith via GoFundMe

Ken Smith, a 70-year-old cyclist who is taking on a cross-continental bike ride to raise money for his grandson, Jakob, will make a stop in London, Ont., Sunday.

Smith, who is originally from London, began his journey back in July.

“Two months after Jakob’s birth, neurologists said Jakob would be dead by two and he would never walk. He would be in a wheelchair and he would never speak,” Smith said.

“Well, 16 years later, Jakob is alive and well, does walk but can’t speak.”

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Smith adds that he worries Jakob will struggle tremendously, should something happen to his mother and father.

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“It all started around Christmas time, when I asked my son if he had a plan for Jakob once they’re gone,” Smith said.

A collage of Jakob Smith. Photo courtesy of Ken Smith via Facebook

“When he said to me they aren’t able to afford long-term care for Jakob, I knew I had to do something to help,” he explained.

Smith has set up a GoFundMe for his grandson and has already raised just over $9,000 of his total $100,000 goal.

“I’ll tell you, the ride so far has been an incredible test of endurance,” Smith told 980 CFPL.

“Even though Jakob may never know what I’m doing for him, I take real pride and comfort in knowing that I’m helping ensure he will be secure financially once we (family) are gone.”

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As of Friday, Smith had crossed the border into Canada and stayed overnight at the Wallaceburg fire hall before hitting the road again.

Smith will make a stop at the Byron fire hall around 4 p.m. Sunday before visiting Jakob and his parents.

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