There are many rides to participate in on any given weekend with many supporting a good cause or charity. For most of us, it doesn’t take much of an excuse to get out and ride, and when it’s for the March of Dimes Bikers for Babies® that is one of top causes I can think of. Premature birth affects many, and without the help of the March of Dimes the outcome wouldn’t always be very bright--which brings me to the Bikers for Babies ambassador family for the ride in St. Joseph.
Twin girls Kendall and Taylor along with their family, dad Forrest, mom Gina, and sister Baylee, had quite a journey. Gina had a high-risk pregnancy with the twins sharing the same amniotic sac. Gina was to be on bed rest for much of the pregnancy. Gina had to visit the doctor every week.
Forrest and Gina learned Kendall, one of the babies, had a heart defect and would have to have surgery after she was born. The doctor wanted Gina to carry the twins at least 32 weeks, but that didn’t happen.
Ten years ago Kendall and Taylor were born at just 28 weeks. Kendall was 2 pounds 3 ounces, and Taylor weighed in at 1 pound 13 ounces. The girls were taken immediately to the neonatal intensive care unit. The Schuberts could only see their daughters with pictures that were taken. It was days before they could actually touch their girls, only after they scrubbed in. It was 75 days before the twins got to come home, but they still needed extra care. There were several trips to the emergency room, and the next years would involve eye doctors, speech and occupational therapists, and cardiologists.
When it was time for preschool, the girls were testing right where they should be. Preemies are behind up until they are 2 years old. After 10 years, the girls are very full of energy and a pleasure to talk to. The doctors have pretty much given the Schuberts the green light on everything.
Mrs. Schubert was involved with the March of Dimes even before the birth of the twins. She participated in the walk the March of Dimes holds. After the birth of the twins, both Mr. and Mrs. Schubert are very involved with the cause. Mr. Schubert has become the chairman.
Randi Banker, the division director of the organization said, “They do it like a family affair,” “These people are the best in the world.” Ms. Banker said the Schuberts have raised more than $30,000 through fundraisers and other events for premature babies. Kendall and Taylor, along with sister Baylee, are just as involved and their parents.
September 25 was upon us, so I checked the weather the night before hoping that we would have a great day for the ride. The forecast was for rain late in the afternoon to early evening and I thought, great, it will hold off until everything is done. I got up Saturday morning and the sun was beaming down, and it looked like it would be a wonderful day for the event until I looked out to the southwest and saw a bank of clouds. So I checked the radar on the trusty computer, and sure enough, here comes the rain. It looked like it should move through before we saddled up at noon, so my friend Randy and I decided to head on up to Terrible’s Casino early to beat the rain and hit the breakfast buffet. We got done eating and went back outside to check things out, and the rain had arrived.
It was still fairly early, around 10:30 a.m., so I still had hope that the weather would cooperate and let up before noon. Bikers were still riding in even though the day wasn’t looking to promising.
Noon arrived and the ceremony began (in the rain). Mr. Schubert and family started things off with introductions to his family, thanks to the sponsors, a ride safety reminder, Randi Banker thanking everyone for coming out, and a little about the March of Dimes, and the Blessing of the Bikes. With that done it was time to saddle up and head out on a 95-mile ride through Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska (in the rain). With the Schuberts leading the way, we headed out on 229 to 36 Highway to Highway 7 past White Cloud. K-7 is a very scenic ride when the weather is a little more on the dry side. The rain did let up and finally quit past Troy, Kansas, but the roads still had plenty of water on them yet to kick up.
We stopped by Rulo, Nebraska at The Bridge Bar & Grill to shake some of the water off and have a few refreshments before heading back to Terrible’s Casino. Terrible’s was providing the eats for everybody when we got back--hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, salad, potato salad, and chips were laid out buffet style inside, which was a good way to warm up a bit since there was starting to be a pretty good chill in the air.
Page 2 was to provide the musical entertainment but the weather was looking pretty threatening again, so that part of the day was given up on. Surely it couldn’t have anything to do with electricity and rain on the stage.
When it was all said and done, there were around 215 bikes, and the bikers’ spirits couldn’t be dampened for the cause they were riding for. The count was down from the expected turnout of 350 to 500 bikes because of the weather. Randi Banker, division director, said around $45,500 was raised from the event, and all that stays in Missouri.
All and all it was a good day, but any day is a good day to ride and especially if a good cause is involved.
By Mark Brown