- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State football who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being punched in a nightclub district, has made big strides thanks to intensive physical therapy. Now his father and brother are launching a cross-country bike tour to raise money to help others who need the same therapy.

Blaine and Abe Kolstad will bike 3,300 miles from Oregon to New Jersey on a trip they’ve dubbed the “Coast 22 Coast,” The Mankato Free Press (https://bit.ly/1PTEoMT ) reported.

The pair hopes to raise $40,000 for patients with brain and spinal-cord injuries on the journey that’s expected to last seven to 10 weeks.

The speech, occupational and physical therapy programs that have helped Isaac Kolstad, 25, recover cost thousands of dollars and were partly covered by scholarships, according to his father, Blaine Kolstad.

“That’s part of our payback is to go out and raise some money so others can benefit the way Isaac did,” he said.

Abe Kolstad, 22, started thinking about embarking on a cross-country bike trip about a month after his brother was injured in a fight in downtown Mankato last May, he said.

He began researching similar trips made by others and committed to his trip in November. Abe Kolstad plotted 45 stops along the route as he mapped out the trip.

“I’m excited. Nervous,” he said Monday. “Just about the whole spectrum of emotions right now.”

Blaine and Abe Kolstad plan to leave Mankato on Tuesday and begin biking Thursday in Oregon. Other family members and friends are expected to meet the father-son duo during various points along their trip

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Information from: The Free Press, https://www.mankatofreepress.com

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