TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa man started a quest to beat his type two diabetes by hopping on his bike.
He lost 80 pounds but he also found a new call to action that could help save the lives of children fighting cancer.
"October 31, 2017, my doctor had warned me that things were going not too well with my type-2 diabetes, so I started walking that day, then I started riding my bike, too" recalled Virgil Mandanici.
Virgil weighed close to 300 pounds when he started.
"I started just cycling more and more and more until I did my first century ride, and I just can't get off the bike now," he said.
Virgil documented his weight loss in pictures
Then a buddy of his showed Virgil a fundraiser that would give his bike rides even more meaning.
It's called the Great Cycle Challenge. More than 140,000 cyclists across the country log their miles to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
"I'm trying to hit 475 miles for the month of September, and I was trying to raise $1,500," Virgil explained. "If you can ride a month, try to get some donations to help try and find a cure for cancer for these kids, man. It's just beautiful."
The great cycle challenge has raised nearly $25 million for childhood cancer research since 2015.
Virgil is trying to reach a goal of $1,500 by the end of the month
Virgil has a page on the Great Cycle Challenge website where he raises funds for the cause, https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/VirgilMandanici.