LaGrange – Early morning rain clouds parted over Troup County on Saturday morning to make way for blue skies and the rumble of motorcycles and cars participating in the Ride for Maylee.
About 50 motorcycles and 10 cars met at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church before traveling through the back roads of Troup County for the fundraiser. The Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club hosted the event.
More than $3,200 was raised for Maylee Highland, 3, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on Sept. 15.
“It was an awesome and beautiful sight to see the community come together and support this beautiful little girl and her family,” said Michael Bartlett, a member of the Defiant Crew.
Maylee will undergo treatment at Egleston children’s hospital in Atlanta for the next five weeks. Afterwards she will be sent home for two weeks before she will have to repeat the treatments for another six months.
“There’s been a lot of miracles,” Joe Franklin, grandfather of Maylee, said to the crowd. “It was a miracle it (the cancer) was even found.”
Franklin held back tears several times as he explained Maylee’s condition to the crowd of rough-looking, bearded men wearing leather vests with a skulls on the back.
“You don’t realize (how sacred) life is until you spend time with your granddaughter in a cancer hospital,” he said.
The motorcycle club had members from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina as well as the “nomad” chapters attend the ride.
After the ride, people met back in the parking lot of Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church for barbecue, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction.
According the their website, the Defiant Crew is a law-abiding motorcycle club that supports charitable events.
James Morton is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorton_LDN.