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Cross -country cycler with muscular dystrophy hit in Eaton Rapids Twp.

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 06:43:39-04

LANSING, Mich. — A 65-year-old man with muscular dystrophy is in the hospital ob Thursday after a car hit him while he was biking in Eaton Rapids Township.

Michigan State Police say both he and the man he was riding with were hit at the intersection of Island Highway and Gunnell Rd. around nine this morning.

He was on a bike journey across the country. Muscle pain, stiffness, trouble talking and swallowing are just some of the symptoms Jon Olson battles with muscular dystrophy.

He was biking across the country from Oregon to raise money and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Olson's injuries from the crash this morning aren't life-threatening but his cousin tells News 10, they do damper his plans. Reporter Christiana Ford was on her way to meet up with him when it happened.

Six years ago Kristi Sogn says her cousin Jon Olson was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy and thought his lifelong dream of biking across the country was over.

"He asked the doctor about doing it and the doctor said well if you're going to do it you better do it now because you're never going to be stronger than you are right now," said Sogn.

Sogn says after the diagnosis her cousin battled depression and gave up on the dream.

"He just thought what's the point and didn't do the ride," said Sogn.

That was until this May when she says his dream and the journey became about more than him. He was raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"It really quickly kind of flipped and I remember hearing him saying something about, actually the ride is just a vehicle for me to raise awareness and funds to help other people with Muscular Dystrophy," explained Sogn.

Olson and a friend were cycling to Rives Junction to meet News 10 Reporter Christiana Ford when they were hit by a car at the intersection of Island Highway and Gunnell Road in Eaton Rapids Township. The other cyclist hit was a friend from Ann Arbor who was just riding with Olson through Michigan.

"It's devastating," said Sogn. "It's what everybody worried about because drivers don't pay attention and there really aren't any words for it."

Sogn said fears of him riding alone is one reason she started posting for him on social media so that everyone could keep up with him. She's heartbroken the ride ended this way but says his message will live on.

"He touched so many people along the way and he'll continue to do that," said Sogn.

Olson's wife tells News 10 he and his friend are recovering in the hospital. She's traveling there from their home in Wisconsin. The family says he planned to finish his ride up in New York by the middle of September. He was able to raise more than $11,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association so far and is still accepting donations TO DONATE CLICK HERE

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