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Riding with a reason

Motorcyclists hit the road to benefit stricken child

Motorcyclists hit the road to benefit stricken child

July 03, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Four days ago, her son began to speak again.

On Sunday, the whispered words were still new, and every few minutes, Heather Rogers would lean over the 6-year-old boy to hear what he had to say.

"I hear you talking to me," she said.

Seven months ago, Ian Rogers might have been running around with his brother, talking to the bikers and eating pizza.

On Sunday, the pair sat at Harley-Davidson Williamsport surrounded by people there to raise money for Ian, who was diagnosed in March with a malignant cancerous brain tumor known as Glioblastoma Multiforme.

Brian Lovins of Funkstown organized the motorcycle ride to raise money for Ian's family, who will use the funds to pay for medical bills and day-to-day expenses.

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Lovins said about 400 riders met Sunday morning at Long Meadow Shopping Center for the ride, which went through Mercersburg, Pa., and Clear Spring before ending in Williamsport.

Lovins was unsure how much money had been raised, but he said each rider paid $10. Money also was raised through raffles and door prizes.

Heather Rogers worked in a graphic design studio, but she has been taking care of Ian full time and is unable to work.

"He was totally normal before he collapsed one day," she said.

That day was Dec. 5, 2005.

Ian complained that he was feeling sick that morning, but recovered and headed to school.

"He got out of the car and just ran into school," Rogers said.

Soon after, Ian was complaining of a headache and was having trouble walking. He collapsed and was rushed to Washington County Hospital, where doctors discovered bleeding in part of his brain.

He later was treated at Johns Hopkins pediatric intensive care unit, his mother said.

On March 17, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was roughly the size of a golf ball. He has undergone two brain surgeries and a round of radiation therapy, and he is scheduled for more tests within the next two weeks to determine whether all of the cancerous cells were removed, Rogers said.

"We don't know if it's come back," she said. "Everything is up in the air."

Rogers said doctors told her that 95 percent of people who are diagnosed with this brain tumor die within five years of diagnosis. Most of that 95 percent die within the first year, she said.

Rogers said she isn't sure, but she believes Ian can hear what is going on around him and that he can understand most of it. Whether he'll recover fully is still unknown, she said.

But she's already seen small improvements. He was unable to use his legs and one arm, but recently he began to move them all again.

"He doesn't have great odds," she said. "But we're a Christian family. It's God now that's in charge of Ian."

Rogers said she was surprised that so many people, mostly strangers, came to support her family. Lovins said he saw an article about Ian in The Herald-Mail with a photograph of him holding a snake.

"He just reminded me of myself," Lovins said. "I was into bugs and snakes, too. I thought, well, let me organize something for this little guy."

Lovins said that with the help of Those Bikers - a local organization - he hoped he was able to raise enough money to help Ian and his family.

"I'm just really excited about being able to help them," he said.

For details about Ian and information about donating, go online to www.caring bridge.org/visit/ianrogers.

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