Caitie’s Army to hold 9th Annual Fall Ride
Recently, members of Caitie’s Army met with the mayors of Luverne, Andalusia and Opp to discuss the possibility of declaring the month of September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
In 2005, Tee Terry’s niece Caitie was diagnosed with brain cancer. When this happened, Terry says the main support group that came to their aid was the biker community.
“It was like they were family. It was so overwhelming that when she got better, we decided we weren’t going to stop,” she said.
Since then, Caitie’s Army has held an annual fall ride through South Alabama communities in order to raise money for their organization and others.
Terry said that when the group first started raising money as a group, they would find two sick children in the area to sponsor and help the families as they went through procedures.
The group would also donate much of their earnings to cancer research, until they were approached by Children’s of Alabama and were told funds were needed in the Hope and Cope program, which helps with everything insurance won’t cover for oncology patients.
“South Alabama really does no big fundraiser to give back to Children’s Hospital, and that’s the reason Caitie’s Army has started doing this,” Terry said.
Each year in the United States there are approximately 330 children between the ages of birth and 19 years diagnosed with cancer. About 150 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Alabama, and over 500 children in Alabama undergo cancer treatments each year.
In 2015, Children’s of Alabama had 677,037 patient visits to their clinics and 15,462 patient admissions. In Crenshaw County, the 2015 totals for visits and cases to Children’s of Alabama reached 494.
“Any seriously ill child from our county goes to Children’s. There’s really not a children’s hospital or a really sick child’s ward around,” said Luverne Mayor Dr. Pat Walker.
“Childhood cancer is a problem that has been faced over the years, but there have been a lot of success stories. We have children within our community going through that right now, so I think that brings it home when it touches your life so closely. You know it’s always out there, but until it touches you personally it’s not as close to home.”
Along with helping donate money to Children’s Hospital, Caitie’s Army will also be collecting soda pop tabs and supplies to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.
“Everybody needs to collect can tabs, because they have a company that buys from the Ronald McDonald House and they get a better price for their aluminum,” Terry said.
“Each Ronald McDonald House has to maintain itself.”
Caitie’s Army’s 9th Annual Fall Ride 2016 event will take place on Sept. 24. The bike ride will take place at the Red Level VFW and the fun day for kids will take place in the Andalusia Town Square.
If you are interested in participating in any of the Caitie’s Army fundraisers, please contact Tee Terry at (334) 504-4095 for Andalusia and surrounding areas, Tina Brown at (334) 662-2804 for Greenville and the surrounding areas or Kim Wood at (334) 371-1127 for Troy and surrounding areas.