Man with cancer drives cross country, just for the fun of it

By Stephen Hooker - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Four days ago a 60 year old sports car left the California beaches and headed east.

This cross country drive was more than a test of the car's resilience.

Not too often do people in the United States see an antique British sports car in the wing mirror.

The 1953 Austin Healey 100 belongs to John Nikas.

A few weeks ago, the car was in California on its last legs.

Then one day John got an idea, that he would fix up the car that was in his same predicament and then drive it coast to coast, and back again.

"This car is kind of a metaphor for people living with cancer because its shot full of rust and it leaks oil like sieve," said John. "If the car can make it across country and back, anybody can do anything."

John wants people to try things that are impossible and improbable because often those are the odds people with cancer face.

John really wants people to know that there are things they can do and to not give up.

John has met many people along the way and has had each of them sign their name or someone else to remember on the car.

"Knowing those names on the car and knowing I'm alone driving, it's not quite so lonely," said John.

"It's hard.  But I think it teaches you something about yourself when you try the things that are hard, even if you don't succeed at them.  It teaches you about what kind of person you are."

John says when he arrives in Charleston he will have crossed 18 states and then he plans to do it again, just for the fun of it.

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