Shifting Gears Motorcycle Riding Group recently took to the streets to benefit Erica Bryant, a local woman who is fighting Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).
On Saturday, June 26, 157 motorcycles rode an hour-long parade from Harley Haven in Irmo to Chapin (near Lake Murray) and back, offering bystanders a chance to see a large variety of bikes demonstrating support for the Bryant family and raising awareness of the challenges associated with breast cancer.
Bryant, 38, is a wife and mother of three from Gaston, SC who recently learned of her Stage-3 IBC diagnosis and faces a challenging battle ahead that will include a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. With the most promising treatments not being covered by Bryant’s insurance, the motorcycle enthusiasts stepped up to fill a financial gap.
Shifting Gears’ group leaders Mike and Gina Lafferty formed a 501(c)3 arm of the group specifically for the purpose of helping the Bryants. “There are many worthy organizations focused on research and direct services that affect millions with cancer,” Mike said. “Our goal is to directly help one family close to home and hopefully raise some awareness for others. This gives us the ability to potentially support additional causes down the road.”
IBC is a rare form of breast cancer that grows quickly and aggressively. It can be difficult to detect through normal screening methods, and it is often misdiagnosed as infection and treated with antibiotics. As a result, IBC is typically not accurately diagnosed until it is already at an advanced stage. Bryant’s husband Chad is the family’s sole provider, and he will lose significant time from work to care for the family while Erica undergoes aggressive treatment.
The parade ride was part of a larger event at Harley Haven that included BBQ lunches, live music, a silent auction, various vendors, and more, all for the benefit of the Bryant family.
We raised over $5,000 for Erica, and continue to collect donations from caring people.