GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Time for One Good Thing -- someone or something that makes West Michigan a good place to live. A bicyclist was given a second shot at life by another man from right here in West Michigan. And - again - that bicyclist is coming to town to both thank his friend... and advocate for the process that gave him that second chance.
When we first met Bob Falkenberg, he was biking across the country, 10 years after a successful bone marrow transplant that helped him beat Leukemia, advocating for the Be The Match Foundation.
"Just doing everything I could possibly do," he says.
Then, he met up with Jason, the local man who donated his stem cells to Bob. Today, he's 12 years past that transplant... and he's on his bike again.
"To visit as many bone marrow transplant sites as possible in two months."
Today, he's in Milwaukee. Tonight, he'll take the ferry across Lake Michigan... then bike to Grand Rapids on Saturday.
"Meet up with Jason again at the collection center where he donated his stem cells."
Bob says his is a mission of hope.
"It means a lot to patients with a less than 50-50 chance to see someone who's been through it is doing well."
He's also urging people along the way to sign up for the bone marrow donation registry. Especially minorities, of whom there are too few registered.
"With Black and African American folks it's really acute."
Ultimately, he wants everyone to get the second chance that Jason gave him.
"You can do what you always dreamed of. It is possible to get through all of this."
One Good Thing to Bob Falkenberg and his donor Jason. Bob will be at the Versiti Blood Center building on Fulton Avenue this Saturday morning. If you'd like to follow Bob's journey, check out his FACEBOOK PAGE. If you'd like to register as a bone marrow donor, go to BeTheMatch.org. If you'd like to contribute to Bob's mission, go to www.BeTheMatch.org/TourdeTC.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.