Young Cancer Survivors Join Charity Motorcycle Ride

Ten children who survived brain tumors participated in the eighth annual Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Ride for Kids on Sunday, July 7, 2011.

About 200 bikers participated in the ride, which raised more than $50,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

The children rode in sidecars during the 42-mile motorcycle ride which started at Johnson County Community College, in overland Park, and wound through the Kansas countryside. The event was one of 40 nationwide that raise a total of about $5 million per year for the foundation.

Three of the survivors were Isabella Rider, 7, of Overland Park; Jake Keys, 12, of Independence; and Carter Fitzsimmons, 10. Isabella was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2008 and has been cancer-free since April 2009. In 2006, Jake had a tumor deep in his brain, which surgeons removed. Carter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when he was less than a year old.

“They didn’t think he would make it past a year, but he keeps on keeping on,” his father, Tim Fitzsimmons, said.

Carter and his identical twin Grant shared a sidecar in the event.

Sonia Eriksen, Jake’s mother, said: “All these kids have been through a tough road. His whole left side was paralyzed.” Jake has since recovered.

As the engines started, bikes vibrated and stereos played, Isabella grinned and said: “I like it.”

They waved as they rode off into the Kansas countryside.

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