Jordan Strong, who attends Bells Ferry Elementary School in Marietta, has Ullrich Muscular Dystrophy and often depends on his wheelchair to help him get around.
Blue Iron Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club is hosting the ride, and registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The ride starts promptly at 11 a.m. from Kotic Kustoms at 6406 Bells Ferry Road in Woodstock.
The registration fee is $25 per bike and $10 per passenger. In addition to the ride, family activities — including a bounce house, face painting, snow cones and food catered by Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q — will be provided.
In February, Jordan went on Bert’s Big Adventure, a trip for children with chronic illnesses and their families hosted by Q100FM radio personality Bert Weiss, and was independently walking around with little assistance.
However, after a recent fall, his father Deputy Jordan Strong with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said his son is using his wheelchair more often, especially when going from home to school and physical therapy.
“It’s starting to make us realize more and more that he’s going to need it more because he can’t catch himself,” Strong said. “He doesn’t have muscle strength to catch himself.”
Strong said his son has an electric wheelchair, but it remains either at therapy or school because he and his wife, Elizabeth, have no way of safely transporting it. The hitch they installed to their van can not support the wheelchair’s weight.
“He gets tired a lot quicker now,” Strong said of his son’s condition. “He can’t go nearly as far as he used to. It’s hard because we have a great chair — it’s brand new — but we can’t get it to him for him to use it. That’s just tough.”
Shaun Steele, treasurer for the motorcycle club, said her husband, Deputy Casey Steele, works with Jordan’s father at the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and learned of the family’s need while at work.
“We had planned on doing a ride to benefit a law enforcement family anyways and it just all came together like it was meant to be,” Steele said.
So far, Steele said over 150 attendees have said they will come support the Strong family, including both riders and non-riders.
“We will probably have about 125 motorcycle riders and we have several people coming from out of state places like Missouri, Nashville, South Carolina and Ohio,” Steele said.
Steele, who has been involved with the club for the last two years, said it often surprises people that the motorcycle culture makes it a priority to give back to the community.
“You see a group of people and they’re all dressed in leather cuts with their bandanas on, kind of grisly (looking), but they’ll be first people to open up their wallets and give,” Steele said. “I have rider friends in Michigan who can’t make it down, but they’ve already sent in money for the ride.”
She described Blue Iron as “a little different” from many other motorcycle clubs, as it allows women to be members and focuses primarily on including family into many of its events.
“My two children will be at the event,” she said. “It’s not like a motorcycle gathering, it’s more like a family reunion.”
Steele said she’s looking forward to celebrating Jordan’s willpower and strength.
“He’s so smart and such a wit,” Steele said. “He’s a cool little dude, there’s no other way to put it. ‘Determined’ is another good word for him.”
Though he’s not a rider himself, Strong said he’s looking forward to Saturday’s festivities with Elizabeth, Jordan, and Jordan’s siblings, 3-year-old Elijah and 1-year-old Tilly.
“We’re hoping for a lot of people,” Strong said. “For (my family), we don’t have a motorcycle but there will be plenty to do to keep us entertained.”