AFTON, Wis. – Hundreds of motorcycle riders showed up to Afton on Saturday afternoon to support Zach Olson, a 19-year-old with terminal brain cancer.
Olson’s mom, Miranda Olson, says in January, her family got the news Zach Olson had a new form of brain cancer and that there wasn’t a cure.
“We were told to enjoy our time,” she said. “Then he was put in hospice.”
She said the following months have been difficult.
“Right now, we’re just enjoying every minute that we have,” she said.
On March 22, she made a post to Facebook, calling motorcycle riders to come out and celebrate Zach Olson. She says motorcycles have always been a part of their family.
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“When Zach was born, his grandma and grandpa both had motorcycles,” she said.
The post has since been shared over 5,000 times.
“There’s people literally from all over,” Miranda Olson said. :”I’ve had contacts from Florida, Minnesota, Indiana, all over that have reached out.”
As the message quickly spread online, it also spread to local motorcycle group Brothers In Chains.
“We sort of just said, ‘Yeah, we’ll be involved,” said “Dirty,” one of the group’s members. “We’ll go on the ride, we’ll help out however needed. That’s why we’re here.”
He says the group wanted to do whatever they could to help the Olson family.
“At the end of the day, bikers are just regular girls and regular guys that have families,” he said.
We all have kids. We all have people that we care about .When you see someone whose kid is terminally ill, it’s sad.”
Dirty says he and the other Brothers In Chains are in awe of Zach Olson’s strength.
“That’s a fighter right there. I don’t know what I would do if I was in his position, if I would just give up,” he said.
Word of Saturday’s event also spread to groups beyond Wisconsin.One group, from Indiana, came almost 400 miles to give Zach Olson a custom vest.
“We do a lot of benefit rides for various different causes, and this one was very near and dear to us,” said Tony “T-Gunz” Tilson, one of the group’s members. “You get Outlaws, Hells Angels, we all have one thing in common. We want to support the community of cancer awareness.”
During Saturday’s event, many of the bikers met Zach Olson for the first time. Miranda Olson said this support means more than any single driver would know.
“We can’t say thank you enough,” she said.