Former Shriners Hospital patient cycles US, beyond to help others
Local resident Jerry Smith has ridden a bicycle in 39 states, five of the Canadian provinces, Mexico and Ireland. That fact alone is impressive, but given the fact that on the very day he was born doctors predicted he would never walk, it makes it even more so.
When Jerry was born in 1939, his parents – Hoke and Alice Smith – were told their newborn son would never walk. That very day, both of Jerry’s tiny legs were put into casts.
…Approximately nine months later, Jerry was admitted to a Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Greenville, S.C. where he remained – off and on – until he was a teenager.
…Jerry and (wife) Shirley picked up the hobby of bicycling … many of the cycling events they have participated in were fundraisers for Shriners and Jerry became a Shriner himself.
…At 81 years of age, Jerry continues to following his passion for helping others. In a couple weeks, he and friend Dennis Dorman, who resides in Missouri, plan to cycle approximately 1,400 miles from Claxton, up the East Coast Greenway to Bar Harbor, Maine.
…The Claxton Enterprise will be following Jerry and Dennis on their upcoming bicycling trip. Additional information and updates will appear in upcoming issues.
For more of this inspirational story and additional photographs, pick up a copy of this week’s edition of The Claxton Enterprise. You can also subscribe today by calling us at 912-739-2132.
By Julie Braly, Editor