CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Bill Foreman is a fighter.
“It’s been tough,” Foreman said.
For the past five months, Foreman has been fighting Stage Four non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer as well as cancer in one of his kidneys. But his battle isn’t his alone.
Wayne Jones, a family friend of 15 years, organized a benefit ride to support Foreman and his family.
“I’ve put these together for people and became friends after the rides,” Jones said. “I’ve never put one together for a friend.”
On Saturday morning, more than 40 bikers showed up to make the trip through several towns. They started at the New Shack Tavern in Cedar Rapids and went through Tiffin, Lisbon, Anamosa and Troy Mills. They ended the ride at Mike’s Bar in Alburnett.
Jones has one way of describing the turnout.
“That’s really emotional because I honestly didn’t expect this turnout,” he said. “Because normally to get a good turnout, the people have to be riders themselves and Bill and Val don’t ride.”
They aren’t riders and they didn’t know many of the riders either.
“It’s amazing to know that we have people that care enough to ride, just for somebody they don’t know,” Val Foreman, Bill Foreman’s wife, said.
She says it’s days like this that keep her and her husband amid so many days where giving up could be easy. The green shirts they wore at the benefit ride say it all.
“It just tells everybody, keep calm we’re all fighting, and on the back, it represents the 25 years of volunteering with the (Hiawatha) Fire Department,” she said.
When Foreman was diagnosed in February, she says it was a shock in the beginning.
“It’s been a rough road, but he’s had his last treatment and has some stuff going on that we have to deal with, but it’s getting here. Day by day, we just go everyday, one day at a time,” she said.
Foreman himself says it’s all a reminder to keep fighting.
“I’ve had days when you just want to give up,” he said. “But with support from family and friends, they kind of kick me in the rear and say you’ve got to keep fighting.”
The money from the benefit ride will help with the family’s living and medical expenses.
People can also donate to the Linn County Credit Union under the “Foreman Benefit” account name.