Rides, Rallies and Events Recap


Written by  August 6, 2004

Melanie really needs our help folks. She has a rare form of cancer and is one of only eight children to ever be diagnosed with this particular disease. As bikers, helping those in need is what we do best, so I know I can count on you to help this little girl through your prayers and donations. She has touched and inspired me and I hope she will inspire you as well, through strength and determination to beat this cancer.

Several weeks ago I met Melanie, her grandparents, and some of her friends at Paddy O’Quigleys where Melanie’s grandpa was selling biker t-shirts. She noticed my camera and we started talking about her love of motorcycles and taking pictures. We also talked about her recent trip to Sea World in San Diego and her feeding the dolphins. I told her I worked for Cycle Connections, an online motorcycle magazine, and she told me she had her own web site. I asked her if she would like me to take some pictures of her on a motorcycle to post on her web site, and you should have seen her face light up.

Matt Albertson, Sales Manager with Hawg Wyld Cycles in Lee's Summit, Missouri, offered to let us use the Swift Bar Chopper he rode that night. As you can see by the photos below, Melanie never looked better. She’s a natural biker. Melanie never brought up her cancer and was happy just to talk and have her photo taken. As her shirt says in one of the pictures below, she’s a real cutie.

When Melanie’s grandmother contacted me to ask for copies of the pictures I’d taken, I asked if I could see Melanie again, spend some time with her and, of course, take more pictures of Melanie on motorcycles. I couldn’t resist the little doll.

Several staff members from our magazine also rode out to meet her and spend some time with her. Well, being the ham that she is, I followed her all over the parking lot while she picked out her favorite bikes for her photo shoot. We all had a blast! Melanie and Candice Dodson, one of our Marketing Specialists, now even have matching shirts. I couldn’t resist taking their picture on Dave Baxter’s Harley. Dave, better known as Stripe, is one of our photo journalists, and was only too happy to oblige. We all got a kick out of Melanie winding up Dave’s bike. Everyone in the parking lot was screaming and applauding her throttle prowess.

If you come out to Paddy O’Quigleys on Thursday nights you might just catch up with Melanie. I think she’s hooked on bikes and bikers and just might pick your bike for her next photo shoot. I look forward to seeing her again very soon. As a matter of fact, Melanie’s birthday is coming up on Saturday, August 28th, and Melanie’s mother told us that what she really wants for her birthday if for several bikers to show up at her birthday party on their bikes. If you would like to help make Melanie’s birthday wish come true, gather up your friends and ride out to Grace Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The church is located at Hwy. 150 and Ward Road and Melanie’s birthday party will be from 3-8 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Please visit her web site at www.miracles4melanie.com and e-mail your support to Melanie and her family. A lot of Melanie’s medical expenses are not covered by her family’s insurance, so if you'd like to make a donation to her treatment fund, please send your donations to Grace Baptist Church 850 SW 150 Hwy. Lee's Summit, Missouri 64082. Most of all, please help support her and her family with your thoughts, kind words and prayers.

Wayne Thompson