This September 11th, local motorcyclists will gather at Eastside Harley-Davidson in Bellevue, WA and take a nearly 100 mile ride to Mud Mountain Dam Park to honor the memory of childhood cancer patient, Wyatt Wilson. In its 11th year, the Wyatt Wilson Ride benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska, where Wyatt spent years fighting rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form cancer.
Diagnosed in the third grade, Wyatt spent seven years battling the disease. He spent much of his time at the Ronald McDonald House and Seattle Children’s Hospital during those years. His family and friends remember him as a child with an endlessly positive attitude and smile on his face. Despite enduring difficult and painful treatments, Wyatt always looked for the bright side of life. A friend of the family remembers Wyatt as “a friend to everyone, enthusiastic and positive, and always willing to try new things, activities and ideas.”
Wyatt also loved motorcycles – a friend of the family, Bruce Morse, would occasionally give him a ride in the sidecar of his Harley. Morse recalls that “Wyatt loved riding in the sidecar. We would ride around West Seattle and Alki Point, or ride up to North Bend to a friend’s farm. He was sick, and I knew we couldn’t be gone too long or go too far, but he just had a ball.” Morse also took him to Eastside Harley-Davidson, where they gave Wyatt a leather jacket and a hat. “He loved the jacket,” says Morse. “He took it everywhere.”
Unfortunately Wyatt lost his battle against cancer, but his memory is much cherished by those who knew him. Following the death of his son in 2005, Wyatt’s father Dan Wilson launched the Wyatt Wilson Memorial Ride as a way to give back to the Ronald McDonald House which was a huge help to the family in their time of need. The first ride took place in 2006, and local motorcyclists banded together to raise $1000. Since then, the ride has raised more than $60,000 for the charity, ensuring that families like Wyatt’s have a home-away-from-home when they need it most.
If you own a motorcycle, we invite you to join the ride! Anyone is welcome to participate- tickets and more details are available online at www.rmhcseattle.org/wyatt.