A local 9-year-old girl with leukemia is the focus of a benefit ride coming up in May with a local motorcycle club chapter.
Anna Fleming, of Hillsboro, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in January and according to her mother, Brandi Karnes, the 9-year-old “is doing OK, overall” compared to other children with the same illness.
Fleming’s illness and treatment has kept her from school, Karnes said, and she is soon to begin another round of treatment that will take them to the hospital twice weekly. That treatment, Karnes said, will keep her daughter more sequestered than previous treatments as it will suppress her immune system even more.
As it stands, Fleming won’t be able to go back until next school year. Right now, Karnes said she takes her daughter to school to visit about once a month. That’s after she calls ahead to make sure there have not been a lot of illnesses going around and after things are disinfected, and when she knows the kids will be outside a lot.
Described as “outgoing,” Fleming loves to be outdoors, her mother said, and she loves animals. “She’s just fun-loving,” Karnes said, adding that her daughter has always been one to enjoy “playing in the sun,” and the dirt, too.
But she is sick and the illness and the associated expenses are taking their toll on Fleming and her family. To help support them, local motorcycle club Punishers LEMC Highland Chapter is organizing a ride to benefit Fleming and her family.
The local motorcycle club chapter is made up of law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, and prior and active military members, member Gary Hughes said.
While Anna stopped in to see club members before a ride recently, this next ride is all about her and the club will be joined by other area motorcycle clubs for the ride.
Set for May 14, registration for the ride will begin at the Hillsboro VFW, 1000 W. Main St., at 10:30 a.m. The ride begins at noon. The fees to participate in the ride are $15 for a single rider and $20 per couple.
Hughes said the “kid-friendly,” after-ride activities, which should start around 2 p.m., will include live entertainment, face-painting, food for a freewill donation, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction, and raffles. He said an Elvis impersonator will be on hand, as will a Gene Simmons impersonator.
Raffle and auction items include an oil change from O’Reilly Auto Parts, car wash supplies from Auto Zone and Advance Auto, a Harley Davidson key chain holder and two camping chairs courtesy of Apple City Motorcycle Club, as well as handmade items, and more.
All of the proceeds from the event will benefit Fleming and her family, Hughes said.
To keep informed about the club’s activities, visit its Facebook page. For more information about the event or if you have questions, call chapter vice president John Parker at 937-205-5493.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.