On beautiful weekends in North Georgia, motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation, especially for a ride to the mountains.
But Sunday morning, about 150 motorcycle riders gathered for a different kind of ride, the Ride For Rosson, which helped raise money for the Fighting For Rosson Isaac Fund.
Rosson Isaac Brown, 4, was diagnosed with stage 2 Burkitt’s lymphoma on May 16. He currently is treated with chemotherapy weekly and had his first blood transfusion two weeks ago.
“It means a lot that someone would take time out of their day to support Rosson, and try to help us out with anything they can help with is great,” said Chris Brown, Rosson’s father.
Chris also took part in the charity ride, which left from Buffalo Wild Wings in Gainesville, traveled across Blood Mountain along to Helen and returned to Dawsonville Highway.
“It was awesome. Going down the road, looking over my shoulder and seeing that many bikes behind me — knowing that all of them were there for Rosson was great. Overwhelming a little bit, but it’s a blessing, and I’ll never be able to thank everyone enough for it.”
Rosson’s mom, Kassie Brown, said Sunday was a “blessing”.
When Chris and Kassie recounted May 16, they said one word came to mind — terrifying.
“Anytime you hear the word cancer, your heart stops,” Chris said. “Especially at his age. How do you explain to a 4-year-old that he has to go through this?... Luckily, it’s something that’s treatable, and he’s doing great with his treatment. But initially, it was terrifying.”
For the riders, Sunday was about helping Rosson, and riding was a bonus.
“It’s good to see a good turnout. Motorcyclists today are more prone to do something like this,” said rider Randy Prince. Prince said he read about the ride on a website and decided to join.
He also said he’s known people who died from cancer, and the charity ride was a way he could help someone fighting their own battle.
Rider Kevin Crable was participating in his first charity ride in Georgia. He said he didn’t know Rosson, but he doesn’t need to know a family in order to help.
Others knew Rosson’s family, and wanted to be there to show their support.
“Rosson’s grandfather has been a good friend of mine for nine years,” said rider Dustin Evans. “My girlfriend’s grandmother died of breast cancer...Cancer can (affect) anybody. We’re supposed to help those we can.”
Lisa Carette and Josh Woolen, both managers at Buffalo Wild Wings, called the Browns a great family, and said when they heard their story, they wanted to help in whatever way they could.
“We wanted to do something special for them,” Carette said. “This is the first time we’ve (held a fundraiser) like this. We did not expect the turnout that we had.
“It was overwhelming emotions. It was amazing. Emotional ... Rosson’s personality just fills your heart. You couldn’t help but to do something to make this child smile for a little while.”
A silent auction and raffle were held following the ride, and Buffalo donated 10 percent of its sales Sunday to the fund.
For more information on the Ride For Rosson event or how to donate to the Fighting For Rosson Isaac Fund, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/FightingForRossonIsaac or www.facebook.com/RideForRosson.