I have another blog which includes a podcast that deals with motorcycling, which has been very neglected over the past year, at Motorcycle Nation Podcast. I was doing research for the site and I ran across information on a ride that I had heard of in the past but had dismissed. The Ride for Kids is a motorcycle ride that exists in forty cities across the United States and is the major fundraising arm of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. If you are a motorcyclist and would like to participate click on the link and find the nearest city to you. If you are in Indianapolis the ride is September 9, 2012 and is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Click here, Indy Ride for Kids, to get more info on the Indy ride only.
The 2011 ride was held on September 11th and we participated. Kids with brain tumors are invited to to come out and be recognized as a “Star” kid. The Stars get to come to the ride and be recognized and if they choose there are trikes and sidecar fitted motorcycles that will allow them to ride in the ride. Our good friend Clay Cooper blessed us by coming to the ride and allowing Brianna to ride in his sidecar.
She wanted Angie with her so Angie rode on the back to make Bri feel better. The ride left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and wound its way through Eagle CreeK Park before returning to the Speedway where they allowed us to take a lap around the famed Brickyard oval. When we returned they had a quick box lunch set up for us and we went into the Celebration of Life which is a time to recognize those that brought in the highest donations and also to get all the Stars on stage and celebrate them. We had current patients along with survivors at the Indy ride this year and Tori brought in the third highest donation amount for the entire ride which was $1210. She worked really hard and her goal is really big for the 2012 ride. She wants to raise $5,000 this year so she has set the bar high. If you want to make a donation through her you can make it online by clicking here. Please feel free to share the web address with anyone that might be interested in helping her achieve her dream.
The Celebration of Life was an emotional part of this ride. The Ride Manager, Mark Muhlenfeld had survivors and kids currently fighting brain tumors on the stage asking them questions. There was some fun banter with all the kids but who else would steal the show but Brianna’s chemo buddy Grace Bennett. Gracie is a happy go lucky, beautiful child that does not know a stranger. She had the crowd laughing as Mark asked her questions and she complained about her helmet. Plenty of motorcyclists all over the nation would definitely agree with her. Grace even got her picture on the national website. All the kids had a great time and this day allowed them to forget about their sickness for awhile and feel normal. So many smiles were seen that day from the kids and there were plenty of smiles and tears from the adults. It was a very special day.
After the ride I was speaking with ride manager Mark Muhlenfeld and he said that he understood that I wanted to become more involved with the ride. I have a vested interest in this ride because the funds raised go to brain tumor research. I want this stopped. I want the causes to be determined so prevention plans can be developed. For the ones already battling, I want ways to beat it to be identified. I don’t want another child to suffer. I told him yes and he inquired if I wanted to be involved enough to take over the ride for 2012 as the Task Force Leader. I discussed this with Angie and friends who went on the ride with us and everyone gave their support so we took the job. Your support is needed too. Ride in the ride, volunteer to help on the day of the ride, or maybe fill a position on the Task Force which takes a full year commitment. If you are interested let me know. Email me at http://indyrideforkids.com