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Search Continues for Missing Oregon Cyclist Believed to Be Suffering From Cancer

Mark Bosworth

This undated family handout photo shows missing bicyclist Mark Bosworth, left, with his wife Julie, right, daughters Claire, middle right, and Kelly at a family reunion. (AP/Bosworth Family)

Relatives of a missing Oregon cyclist reportedly believe the 54-year-old man has become disoriented while battling a recurrence of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma he's struggled with since 2007.

Mark Bosworth, of Portland, Ore., has not been seen since Sept. 16. The two-time cancer survivor disappeared during a seven-day bicycle tour along scenic roads in Oregon, leaving everything behind: his bike, his clothing, his wallet and credit cards.

Weeks before the Cycle Oregon race, one of Bosworth's daughters noticed her father was repeating what he was saying. He wasn't as active, and complained of headaches but blamed it on a stiff neck, the Oregonian reports.

Bosworth made appointments to see his doctors, but scheduled them after Cycle Oregon, his family told the newspaper last week.

"He's a guy, guys do that," brother Eric Bosworth told the newspaper.

Two days before Bosworth disappeared, he fell asleep in a pizza delivery car until its owner awoke him. But since Bosworth had been quick to notice the symptoms and then act during his first two bouts with cancer, his wife and daughters trusted him to notice any further problems.

"I trusted my dad to know when he was sick," daughter Kelly Bosworth told the newspaper.

Early in the morning on Sept. 17,  the day after Bosworth disappeared, a man wearing similar clothes was seen hitchhiking on a road outside the town of Riddle, where cyclists camped. His wife, Julie, wonders whether he is trying to get to New York City, where the couple lived for 10 years.

"I can imagine Mark being on I-90, getting by with 40 bucks in his pocket and a stranger's kindness, being confused but strong enough to be on the road," she told The Associated Press.

Bosworth hopes her husband is still alive, maybe catching a ride with someone, maybe walking down some city street, that someone will recognize him, tell him people are looking for him, and that he needs to go home.

Police have said it does not appear that Bosworth was a victim of foul play. After talking with Bosworth's doctors and relatives, investigators believe some medical episode is behind his disappearance, said Lt. Chris Merrifield of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The search for Bosworth -- a map expert with a regional government entity for the greater Portland area and an avid musician and cook -- is ongoing. Relatives and friends have distributed posters along the Canadian border and into California, and are maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts dedicated to locating him. A $10,000 reward has also been listed on a website created to find the Oregon man.

Cyclist Greg Bolen spent time with Bosworth several hours before he disappeared. While at a beer garden set up by Cycle Oregon, Bosworth told Bolen he was going to the bathroom while they waited for pizzas, but Bosworth didn't return to the table. When Bolen saw him later that day, Bosworth said he ran into someone, got to talking and lost track of time. Bolen last saw Bosworth at about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, as they were walking back to the campsite.

Mark and Julie Bosworth were planning to fly to London late last month to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Anyone with information regarding Bosworth's whereabouts is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 957-2099.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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