By Maria Arcega-Dunn
San Diego – A local Cal Fire firefighter embarked on a cross country bike ride to honor his friend – Escondido resident and Cal Fire firefighter Cory Iverson who died battling the Thomas Fire in 2017.
Cal Fire firefighter and engineer Thomas Pittman left early this morning from Imperial Beach for his “Ride into The Light” fundraiser. He plans to ride all the way to Jacksonville, Florida in an effort to raise money for a foundation benefiting the mental health of first responders created in his friend’s name.
Just after 630 this morning in Imperial Beach, Escondido resident and Cal Fire firefighter Thomas Pitman prepared for a cross country bike ride. The 2500-mile journey from San Diego all the way to Jacksonville, Florida will raise funds for a foundation created in honor of his friend and colleague Cory Iverson, who died in while fighting the 2017 Thomas Fire in Ventura County.
“It’s pretty amazing, the stuff I’ve seen over the past year in terms of honoring him have been mind-blowing, and this one takes the cake I think,” said wife of fallen firefighter Ashley Iverson.
She says the ride will help to raise money for the Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness which provides programs to help reduce suicide, PTSD and other mental and emotional stressors unique to first responders.
“The things that they see and do on a daily basis these are things that you and i don’t even want to imagine,” said Iverson.
Pitman’s goal is $2,426, one dollar for every mile he rides. Money Iverson’s wife says will keep her husband’s name alive and help so many others.
“Thomas, even though he doesn’t know it right now, he’s helping a lot of people in doing this and that’s what gets me through,” said Iverson. “I underestimated what it would be at the year mark. It’s been quite a challenge for the last couple of months. But things like this give me hope.”
The ride is self-supported meaning Pitman won’t have anyone helping him along the way. He is expected to complete the ride on January 31.
Donations can be made to the “Ride into The Light” on the foundation’s website https://iversonfaa.org/ride/
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