O’FALLON, Mo. -- Nels Matson, 27, a member of Sunrise UMC in O’Fallon and a heart defect survivor, rode 3,709 miles in 43 days. He began June 8 in Santa Monica, Calif., and he arrived July 20 in New York City.
His trip raised more than $14,000 for the Children’s Heart Foundation.
Sunrise members contributed funds and matched Matson’s miles by biking, walking, running, swimming, or working out on training machines.
Matson was born with a congenital heart defect and he had open heart surgery when he was nearly 3 years old. At 5 years old he was given a clean bill of health, and he has lived a healthy life since. While in college, he wrestled for Iowa State University.