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Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Lincoln couple show concern and charity as biker for diabetes rolls through               Send a link to a friend


I just wanted to share with you a story about some wonderful people. Too often we hear about the bad and not about some of the wonderful people.

The first are local people, the couple who run the Redwood Motel. On the afternoon of Sunday, July 24, I called them from my hometown in Seattle. I told the lady who answered and runs the place with her husband the story of my friend Willie A. Taylor. I will share more of his story below. I told them how he is doing this big bicycle trip on his own from Michigan along Route 66 to L.A. and back for diabetes. How he planned to make it to Springfield, but the weather so hot and the wind against him that he would need to stay in Lincoln. Without hesitation they offered him their last room for only $15.

Later I called back and let them know he was coming but it would be another two or three hours -- the going tough and slow. She offered his room free and said they would be watching for him. When he finally arrived, he told me that the lady's husband was outside watching for him and getting ready to go look for him, as they were worried. They know not me nor him, just what I told them on the phone. These are wonderful people indeed, and your town should be proud to have them as residents and business owners.

Now this is more of the story of my friend Willie A. Taylor. He completed his eighth day of this trip at the Redwood. He has already battled rainstorm, wind, hills and heat up to 104 degrees.

He is an incredible man with a selfless heart and great determination. He set out on July 16 to do a two-month-long bike ride from his hometown, St. Johns, Mich., to Chicago, then along the historical Route 66 to California and back. This is about 6,000 miles to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I have included links to his page on the American Diabetes website and a story written by a local paper. There you can learn more of his trip, his goal, why Route 66 and diabetes, and how to contact him.

[to top of second column in this letter]

It is the yet untold part of this story that is more amazing. After a two-week ride in 2003 covering 2,024 miles from Michigan to Mississippi and back, this is something Willie has wanted to do. Last year he didn't feel it was the right time. This is the year he felt it was in God's will.

Nearly everything that could go wrong has. A self-employed man, things started going downhill when he lost a big contract early in the year. It is not my place to divulge all that has come in his way. Perhaps he will share some of them with you if you contact him. In essence he had to choose from going forth with the trip or try to keep his nice home. He let the house go.

At the same time positive things were happening, more adversary came -- down to no transportation, giving up his house and selling personal items to try to have some pennies as he ventured out. He did the 70-mile-long Tour de Cure trip as mentioned on the Web page, then ran into another unexpected delay.

Determined to make his goal, on July 16, a month past the original planned departure date of June 18, he finally got to begin the trip. Even without a driver to go along, he stepped out in faith and is not letting anything stop him.

These are the kind of people we need to hear more about. Such wonderful blessings in a difficult world.

Theresa Witt
Seattle, Wash.
In support of Willie A. Taylor

(Posted July 26, 2005)

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