Biker Dad: Mid-South rider documents 4,000 mile 'Ride for Sight' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Biker Dad: Mid-South rider documents 4,000 mile 'Ride for Sight'

Source: Southern Eye Institute Source: Southern Eye Institute

A Memphis man's 4,605 mile motorcycle ride across the United States is helping fuel an even longer, and more important journey.

Tom Lewis set off from Memphis, wound up in Montana, tracked back east along the Missouri River, and came back home. It's his third annual trip, called the "Ride for Sight." The ride visited 20 Catholic parishes, through 12 states, and more than 100 hours on the bike. 

Since 1988, Lewis, and his wife Dr. Cathy Schanzer, have been traveling to Africa to help restore sight to the blind. They are with Southern Eye Institute in Memphis. They opened a free, full-time clinic in Sierre Leone in 2006 in a little village named Serabu.

"In Sierra Leone, like most third world countries, cataracts are the number one cause of reversible blindness. Southern Eye Clinic of Serabu is the only eye clinic for a million plus people and has grown into a major destination eye clinic for people from Sierra Leone as well as people from the neighboring six countries" the group's website says, "Typically people walk for weeks to get to Serabu for the chance to regain their sight.  And by God’s grace, many of them do regain their sight after living for so many years in the darkness of their blindness."

Each year Dr. Schanzer and Lews travel to the village to perform cataract surgeries. Fundraising efforts like the "Ride for Sight" help pay for the mission. Lewis documented his trip and for 40 days is posting the milestones of the ride. You can follow the journey, and help out with the cause on the "Ride for Sight" website.

You can also send donations to:
Southern Eye Institute
5350 Poplar #925
Memphis, TN 38119

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Chris Best is the Assistant News Director for WMC Action News 5. He's a husband and father of four, He's also a motorcycle enthusiast.

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