CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Wade Hahn wanted to make a difference.
The Ste. Genevieve teen decided to raise money and bring awareness for depression and suicide prevention in one cool way.
Wade decided to ride his bike from St. Louis, Missouri to Panama City Beach, Florida and raise money for the cause on the way.
He started his almost 900-mile journey on Monday, May 21 at the St. Louis Arch.
Hahn made it to Panama City Beach on Saturday, June 2 and raised $5,000 for Community Counseling which will go to help families and survivors of depression and suicide.
Mary Burton, Executive Director of CCCFoundtion, met with Hahn and Brandy Henderson of Ste. Genevieve High School to accept a $5500 donation on June 25.
Heartland News got to meet the teen at Cape Bicycle in Cape Girardeau on Tuesday, May 22, while he stopped for bike repairs.
"I figured I would bring in the foundation, Community Counseling, and help other people with it," Hahn said.
Hahn graduated from Ste. Genevieve High School where he had a couple of friends that have dealt with matters involving suicidal thoughts.
"It hit me deep," Hahn recalled. "I saw them struggle with it every day. I had a class with one girl that always had these issues and not showing up. I talked with her about it and it just hit me deep and this is what I wanted to do."
While Hahn was making the trip, he hoped that it will get people's attention to help others that need help.
"Always offer a hand," Hahn suggested. "Even if you think someone is doing alright, just offer the hand. like 'hey, you doing alright?' Just get it out there and make sure they know. And if you know they are struggling, especially offer a hand and say, 'hey, I can get you help.' It doesn't have to be a public thing."
"We are getting a rim strip lined out for the tires," Hahn explained.
Hahn closed his old life where he was a 2018 state wrestling champion at Ste. Genevieve High School, had many friends and graduated.
Now he is taking to the pavement to help others as he starts a new path in life, all while remembering those who have helped him along the way.
Hahn even wanted to personally thank those that helped him achieve this goal of raising awareness for suicide prevention.
"Thanks to Mrs. Henderson, Carrie Staffen and Mrs. Drury," Hahn said. "All of them. They've helped me out a lot with getting this foundation pushed forward. And also, obviously my parents!"
He said he did take his graduation money and other funds gathered from working jobs to cover all expenses for this long trip.
If you would like to help, you can go to his Go Fund Me page here.