Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

A Ride For Hope-"Angel's Hope"

Written by  September 30, 2018

    On Saturday, September the 15th, 2018, bikes rolled in to Rider's Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama where they were playing host to a ride that was to celebrate the life of a bright, caring young lady, Ms Angel Eaton, whose life was cut short due to cancer. Larry Hardeman organized this ride as he has gotten close to not only this family but also many like them who have been touched in some way by Childhood Cancer, and was co-hosted by Ridez For a Reason. The ride stopped by Bates H.D sales in Oneonta, and was greeted with a “Cruise In" and music by: 7 Stone Riot when they returned.

 

  The best way to describe Angel is through her favorite quote from her favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn: "Happy girls are the prettiest". Angel lived these words every day of her life, all 6,869 of them! She had a smile that would light up the room and it rarely ever left her face. She loved to laugh and joke around with people and often stumped many with her witty remarks.

  Angel had big dreams; she wanted to pursue her passion of becoming a make-up artist on Broadway. She loved the theatre and all the magic that goes into making each production come to life on stage, and she wanted to be right in the middle of it all.

  She also loved music and spent hours listening to her vinyls or playing her keyboard, guitar and ukulele. She was kind, generous, fearless and ambitious, and she never wanted to miss even a second of life. The love she had for her family and friends, especially her baby sister, was unwavering. She couldn't stand to see people in pain and always wanted to others, especially other children who were sharing in her fight with cancer.

  Angel was only 15 when she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in October of 2013, just a few months shy of her sophomore year in high school. Ewing's is a rare form of bone cancer, with only 200 cases diagnosed each year. Angel's tumor was located on her left rib cage. Initially, surgery was not an option, but after more than three months of chemotherapy, the tumor shrank enough that her surgeon believed she would be successful in removing at least a large portion of the tumor. On February 28th, 2014, the tumor was removed along with three rib bones.

  After almost 1 1/2 years of treatments (including many months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation), Angel finally had kicked cancer's BUTT! She had 15 wonderful months of being cancer free, but on April 6, 2016, they heard the words that NO family wants to hear.... relapse. Her cancer had come back with a vengeance. Once again, she was thrown back into the world of chemo, hair loss, trials, clinic visits, ICU stays and more. They heard bad news after bad news, but she refused to give up the fight, she was determined to beat this stupid monster once again.

  She fought hard for more than 5 months, but her body grew tired. At 12:40pm on September the 28th, 2016, Angel truly became an Angel. She was only 18 years old, and left behind heartbroken parents and a 7 week old sister, Ms Autumn Brooks, that she would not get to see grow up. 

   The simple definition of "hope" according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary is; to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.

  Angel hoped for a lot of things, she hoped to start college in the fall, to start working again soon, to be an amazing big sister, that chemo would kill her cancer so that she could live a long, happy, healthy life, hope for a cure so lives are no longer ending before they really begin,

  "I want all of these things to happen and I think they could happen, so does that mean they're going to or that its really that simple? I don't think so, but it doesn't stop me from hoping. That hope is what makes me still want to fight, even when I have bad days, or days when I want to just give up. That hope won't let me. That hope is what pushes me out the door to still do the stuff I like even if all I really want to do is throw the covers over my head and stay in bed all day. That hope won't let me".  ~Blog post from Angel, June 2016.

  Throughout her fight, Angel never lost her will to live, and she never lost her desire to help other children and families who were fighting their own battles. Using the name "Angel's Little Rays of Sunshine", she collected various items to donate to the hematology/oncology floor (otherwise known as 8QB) at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

  She donated food for the food pantry, toiletry bags, for parents and gift cards and toys for the kids. Then she started thinking bigger. While fighting her own cancer battle, Angel missed many of those milestones that a teenager only gets once. She was in the hospital for her sweet 16, Halloween (her favorite holiday) along with several other holidays, and she almost missed her prom. But several of her friends stepped up and made sure that she was still able to enjoy those special moments, despite her circumstances. They had a surprise Sweet 16 party at the hospital and threw her a surprise prom. She often said it was those memories that helped get her through the more challenging times. For those few hours, she was able to just be a "normal kid".

  Then she thought how great it would be if children fighting cancer had their own special memories to help them push through those tough times. The wheels started turning and next thing you know, Angel was planning a "carnival" for all the families who were fighting.

  The event, which was held in August 2015, was a huge success so Angel started planning another event for 2016. She said it was her way of offering hope to other children and teenagers fighting. What better way to bring smiles than a PARTY!

  Apparently her caring nature is contagious as mom Kim has taken up the mission of "Hope" and started a charity in Angel's name called "Angels Hope", where she has continued the task of bringing smiles and hope to these kids. Kim will make boxes of "hope" to carry to ALL of the kids with cancer, and she joins in where she can on other events planned for these kids, sharing that love, hope and inspiration.

  Gone from our side but always in our hearts and NEVER forgotten.