PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick man may not cover a lot of ground on his bicycle, but he’s ridden thousands of miles and raised about $200,000 for an important cause.
You may have seen Rick Lindholm at WaterFire in downtown Providence or outside a Red Sox game in Boston. He sticks out like a sore leg as he pedals away on his stationary bicycle for hours at a time.
His nearly 20 years of fundraising was sparked by a diagnosis he was given during his second year at Johnson & Wales University: leukemia.
“I was becoming more scared as he was telling me about it,” Lindholm recalled.
The diagnosis turned out to be incorrect, but it was enough of an alarm for Lindholm to get tested for blood cancers every six months.
In addition to the hours on a stationary bike, Lindholm has finished 18 endurance events and eight marathons.
For the past decade, one face in particular has fueled his motivation: Payton Watson, who lost her battle with leukemia one month shy of her 12th birthday.
“It really put into perspective what I was doing,” he said. “And that I needed to do more.”
Lindholm’s rides bring more than smiles and pats on his sweaty back from the crowds that see him.
“They tell me their story,” he explained. “How either they’re a survivor or a family member’s a survivor, and they thank me for what I’m doing to hopefully find a cure soon.”
Lindholm doesn’t have any more events planned for this year but said he’ll keep riding in the years to come until a cure is found.