San Bernardino firefighters to take part in Race Across America to help crewmen with cancer

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- A team of San Bernardino firefighters are taking on a cross-country bike race in an effort to raise awareness about cancer and how firefighting increases those risks.

For firefighter and paramedic Sean Jackson, a 393-mile ride on Tuesday was just for practice. It was just the first leg of the 24-hour long relay.

Jackson, along with Capt. Tim Goforth, Ricky Arnold and Travis Grape, are preparing for a much tougher journey. In June, the four-man racing team will ride from San Diego to Annapolis, Maryland for the eight-day Race Across America.

The men will be pedaling to bring awareness to the cause that is close to their hearts.

"Currently, we have two guys from our department who are battling cancer, so that's really become our inspiration," Jackson said.

The team's inspiration is their colleague Cory Norton. The 30-year-old is battling a rare form of epithelioid sarcoma, which is a rare soft tissue tumor.

"This ride means everything to me, and not only me, but to all firemen across the country. They're riding for everybody - to raise awareness for fire-service cancer," Norton said.

As a team, they are raising money for the Fire Family Foundation to garner support for their ride in June. As the men raced across San Bernardino County Tuesday, they said their goal is to hit all 50 full-time fire stations.

"We're trying to simulate what we'll actually be doing during the Race Across America, where we need to average about 400 to 420 miles per day," Jackson said.

The dress rehearsal so far has gone smoothly.

The firefighters will wrap up their practice run Wednesday around 6 a.m. near Wonder Valley. If you would like more information on the race and the Fire Family Foundation, you can click here.
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