BARTONVILLE - Bikers are known for being a little bit rebellious, but today about 1,200 of them were rebelling against breast cancer.
The annual Bikers for Ta-Tas Ride began in Bartonville, raising about $40,000 for breast cancer screening services provided by Unity Point Health-Methodist Proctor Foundation.
The rev of an engine is not typically associated with saving lives, but on this day in Bartonville, it is.
“I was diagnosed in November,” said breast cancer survivor and volunteer Jennifer Helms
Jennifer Helms says breast cancer doesn’t run in her family. So it came as a surprise when a routine mammogram showed that she was in for a fight for her life.
“And this is how I found out. it was caught early. So my odds of survival were excellent.
Technology supported by the bikers for Ta-Ta's ride helped her stop cancer in it's tracks.
“I just recently finished my sixth treatment on July sixth. So 'no mo chemo,” said Helms with a smile.
But others aren’t so lucky.
“ Good friend of ours, Lisa Despair Ward. Fresh mother of a child. Fresh family going. Lost her life to breast cancer last year,” said one of the bikers at the event.
Which is why these bikers, beards and all, are riding 140 miles across Central Illinois
“No matter how big and bad we are, we’re out here to support our women. We’re out here to support every women out there.
They’ve been doing it for seven years and each year more and more bikers show up.
And some of them really dress up.
“Every bikers got a soft heart. You we’re not the tough guys,” said biker Tim O’ Brien.
But whether there is slick black vests, or fluffy pink too-toos, they’re still supporting the cause.
“ A lot of people have said some wonderful things to me. It just blesses my heart to be around a great group of people.