Sandy's Ride was started back in 2010. We wanted to show support for our cousin, Sandy, who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and was, all of a sudden, fighting for her life. What else could we offer, but to show support and try to lessen the burden that comes with unimaginable medical bills and getting through day-to-day life? Jay had just become part of the motorcycle community, attending several motorcycle charity events that year. He saw just how giving people could be, with nothing expected in return. Sandy's Ride was born.
That cold ride in October was a learning experience, to say the least. So much of this was new to us. Many new friends were made that chilly day.
Year two was also for Sandy, but funds were shared with Get On The Bandwagon, NOW!, a group that provides cancer patients with gift cards, to be used for second opinions, gas money, etc. L-A Harley provided us with the space and the band, Gypsy, played. Pizza Hut joined us with a box top advertising campaign and sold pizza at the conclusion of the ride, donating the profit and even their tips.
*We are happy to share that Sandy has been in remission for several years :) *
Year three brought us a collaboration with both Reggies, providing their parking lot with donuts and coffee to start our ride, and Big Moose Harley-Davidson, providing BBQ and the band, Five Face North, at the end of the ride. That year our beneficiary was Jill, a young mother of 3, with a tough road ahead, so grateful for the help. Jill had also been diagnosed with colon cancer, but she still maintains a good attitude. This was a tough year for participation, as many other rides were scheduled for that day, forcing riders to choose between charities.
Year four: brought us back to L-A Harley-Davidson, who, not only provided us with their parking lot on a highly coveted Saturday, but also providing food for our riders and and the L/A Harley band to round out the afternoon. Our recipient was Diane, a volunteer herself, who helps out Veterans with the Wounded Heroes Program. She was surprised to find that the charity event she attended that day was for her! Diana lost her fight on July 31, 2017.
Year five: once again we had the amazing support of L-A Harley, providing space, a band and BBQ. Our recipient was Larry White, Sr, the Jay Chief of Police, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was overwhelmed to see so many come out to show support for him. The police community was there in force, and Larry got to be part of the police escort. Unfortunately, we lost Larry in 2014, after a long battle with cancer. He held on until he could see his granddaughter get married, just as he had promised her.
Year six: Darlings joined our party, donating an Old Town canoe/kayak to raffle and ice cream. L-A Harley, once again, provided the space/ Pedro's BBQ and Right Amount of Wrong (RAW) played through the evening. Our recipient was a grateful woman/mother/wife, who did not wish to share her diagnosis with any but the closest of friends and family. We respect her wish to stay anonymous. She was shocked when we showed up to provide her with the donation.
Year seven: Paul has received a diagnosis that no one wants to hear; not only is there cancer near his colon, but a lymph node near his heart also has cancer. He is expected to receive chemotherapy for the duration of his life. This cancer has no cure and is inoperable. We would like to offer Paul and his family emotional and monetary support, in hope it will provide some relief from the day-to-day stress of living with cancer. Paul lost his fight on April 28, 2018.
Year eight: Our recipient was Paul Bisson, a local Education Technician at Sherwood Heights Elementary School, husband, father and grandfather. He is a very kind hearted person who goes out of his way to help others and is often seen going the extra mile to make a difference. Paul has been through stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Metastatic Prostate Cancer, which has spread to his lymph nodes, and then he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which stopped his cancer treatment. We were fortunate to have many of his family members able to join us for our ride.
Year nine: Debbie is a single mother of 3, who is an amazing person with a heart of gold that would do anything for anyone. Her first diagnosis was with breast cancer in 2012, and has been recently been diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia. She is taking oral chemotherapy and is expected to be on this medication for an extended period of time. Thankfully, Debbie has the support of family to help her get through.
Every year is better than the one before, always learning what works and what doesn't. It is wonderful to see our past recipients or their families join us, provide updates, and pay it forward.
We hope you will all join us at Sandy's Ride Cancer Sucks! Our 10th and final ride on July 20th, 2019!