PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For as long as it has been played, part of football's appeal has been it's violence.
Bone-crunching hits earn cheers from adoring crowds almost as much as points on the scoreboard too. Of course, we have since learned, that brutality comes at a price.
Chad Levitt knows this all too well.
The Cheltenham grad and former Cornell star rushed for over 4,600 yards in college and was drafted in the 4th round by the Raiders in 1997. But now, 20 years after his playing career ended, he's dealing with the debilitating effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries that results in mood problems, trouble with thoughts and sometimes, dementia.
In late August, Chad set off from the Atlantic Ocean in Margate, New Jersey on his bicycle and headed west.
Fifty-eight days and 3,366 miles later, he arrived at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California. All in the name of raising money, and awareness, for CTE.
Chad rode across country solo, spending 8 to 10 hours and hundreds of miles on his bike a day, before stopping at a campground or hotel. Chronicling the ride for friends, family, and supporters on his Facebook page with daily video updates and photos. Along the way, he experienced the true beauty of the United States, both in nature and in its people.
Chad said he raised $1,000 in the first 20 hours, $10,000 in 6 weeks, and this week, when he touched the Pacific Ocean, that number reached $20,000. But his goal was $33,000. If you'd like to help, you can donate to the effort here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/707327766346119/10157748060692148/. Quite a beautiful way, to help fight an ugly disease.
Chad's Ride: Man bikes across the US to raise awareness for CTE