The Ride for Cancer Navigators, organized by Buddy Bagley whose wife Darlene has been battling cancer for more than two years, saw about five-dozen bikes ranging from high-end Harleys and motor trikes to sports and street bikes head out to tour the countryside between Adairsville and Waleska.
Among them was Lena Crooker, who until this spring was an oncology nurse at the Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center.
“Darlene was my patient and she will always be special to me,” Crooker said while sitting aboard her Honda VTX motor trike after returning from the 58-mile ride. “I have ridden every year and will continue to ride and to stay in touch with Darlene and Buddy.”
Many of the participants were affiliated with church and Christian organizations like the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Bagley belongs to the MOB — Missionaries on Bike — from his church, Meadowdale Baptist in Calhoun.
After the ride, the bikers, friends and supporters enjoyed hotdogs, barbecue and door prize giveaways at the Logtown pavilion on Main Street.
Danny Goswick was among those on hand personally affected by cancer, having been diagnosed this past winter.
“In January I was 230 pounds. The next week I had a feeding tube in my stomach. Cancer can be a scary journey,” he shared. “This ride is really important and the people who are caregivers are important to those battling cancer. So thank you for being here.”
Bagley thanked all those who have supported what is now a three-year-old event.
“We know what it feels like to go through cancer and we just want to help other folks who are also going through it or will be going through it. Cancer Navigators makes a difference by helping them and that’s why we do this to try to raise some money for them,” he said.
Cancer Navigators is a local nonprofit providing nurse, service and education navigation services to cancer patients and their families on their journey from diagnosis, through treatment into sustainable wellness. The group is supported completely by community donations.