Bike club rides for ailing teen

Published 6:48 pm Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Miles Per Hour bike club held a benefit ride Saturday in order to raise money for a local teen fighting Cancer.

A local teenager fighting Cancer got a big boost from an Atmore-based motorcycle club Saturday, after a benefit ride in her honor raised nearly $1,000 to help with medical expenses.

Eugene Edwards, an Atmore firefighter and organizer of the Atmore chapter of the Miles Per Hour bike club, said the ride was created to help the family of 13-year-old Kawanna Johnson pay for the treatment for Cancerous spots found on her lungs, as well as glandular and heart problems.

“It went super good Saturday,” Edwards said. “We raised about $750 for her.”

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Edwards said the ride, which began at Houston Avery Park and continued to Brewton, was attended by members of the club’s chapters from Monroeville, Pensacola, Fla. and Jackson, Miss., as well as other independent riders.

“We asked for a $20 donation to be part of the ride and then others just donated more,” Edwards said.

Johnson’s mother, Rachel, said the family certainly appreciates the bike club’s efforts, but added any additional assistance, be it monetary or otherwise, would certainly help.

“(Kawanna) has Neuroendocrine Carcinomas,” Johnson said. “It is a tumor in her chest and there is a Cancerous spot on her right lung. But the tumor causes her heart and other organs to shift to the center of her chest. She also has Chushing’s Syndrome that is usually found in 50 to 60-year-olds.”

Johnson said her daughter, who was diagnosed in May of 2011, has already undergone surgery, radiation and Chemotherapy and will have a second surgery preformed Tuesday in Houston.

“We made it out to Houston at about 4:30 p.m. today,” Johnson said Sunday.  “She had surgery back in May to remove glands off of her kidney’s, and Tuesday they’re going in to remove the tumor in her chest. They’re aiming at all of it, but may have to leave bits and pieces. If they do, they are considering radiation or Chemo again.”

Johnson, who is also the mother of a three-year-old, said the family will also be working to find ways to handle the financial burden of being away from home for weeks on end.

“We’ll probably be gone for at least two and half weeks,” she said.

To offer assistance of any kind to the Johnson family, calls may be directed to 251-402-7133.

For a complete update on this story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 10 edition of The Atmore Advance.