ZEBULON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A little girl in a pink tutu looked very happy Saturday as a long line of big, loud motorcycles snaked past her Zebulon home. The occasion: Ride for Charlotte, a fundraiser for the child diagnosed with B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Tina Salmon of the Chrome Angelz is an organizer of the birthday ride.
"I'm actually really good friends with the mom. We went to Meredith College together," Salmon said.
"I'm very passionate about this, because my son passed away from complications of a bone marrow transplant at 15 months old. So any time I can help someone else who's in this situation, I'm all for it. When the mom reached out to me and said that Charlotte wanted a 'moto-tyco pa-wade,' we had to step up!"
They did that, and more. More than one hundred bikers, men as well as women, gathered first at Tobacco Road Harley Davidson in Raleigh to collect donations before riding along back roads to Charlotte's home. When they arrived, after the roar of those big bikes died down, Salmon presented Charlotte's mom with a huge check.
Tears streamed down the face of Jessica Lalas as the grateful mother said, "It'll pay off half of what we owe right now! She'll be in chemo through October 2021. So she takes chemo at home daily, and then she gets chemo through her spine and through her port, every 12 weeks."
Among Charlotte's gifts is a pint-sized toy motorcycle, which got her attention immediately. As she played with the sound effects that simulated the sound of a real bike, her benefactors stood nearby and sang the birthday song to her.
Denise Southerland of the Chrome Angelz likes what she saw: "We're here to encourage women to get out and ride! You can do it. We've got members that are just learning, and we're here to support 'em. It's fun, we love it. It's our therapy!"