Bikers share heartfelt reason why they're traveling across the country
May 1, 2015 at 7:49 PM EST - Updated July 21 at 3:58 PM
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)
One million dollars is the goal of 22 Scott's Miracle Riders, who are hoping to raise money for local families in need of a miracle.
If you've ever wondered what a miracle looks like, look no further than Kolton Fortner.
"You can't picture the child you can hold in your hand, growing up to being the one making your hands go numb from holding him on your hip," said his mother Kari Fortner.
Don't let the baby steps Kolton takes with the help of his nurse fool you. At 14 months old and 18 pounds, Kolton has made huge strides. Kolton was born almost four months prematurely, weighing one pound 11 ounces.
It's children like Kolton that motivates the Riders take to the roads of America.
"We set the goal of a million dollars, we all kind of laughed, thought we'd never ever get to that goal, be riding till eternity," said Scott Ressmeyer, organizer of the event.
Led out of town by Columbus Police officers, Scott's Ride for Miracles set out on their seventh and final road trip across 48 states on Friday, May 1 to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network to help local families in need. Organizers explain the money goes towards providing medical care and supplemental support for families.
"Without them, I wouldn't have a son, our family would be incomplete," said Fortner. While there are miracles to celebrate, many at Friday's kick-off had heavy hearts.
The day before, honorary Rider Martin Thiele, 18, lost his four-year battle with the rare form of pediatric cancer Rhabdomyosarcoma.
"He always had a smile, he was always there to do something special for the people that were around," said Ressmeyer.
The 22 riders paid tribute to Thiele before heading out, a timely and heart-wrenching reminder of the reason they ride - for fallen loved ones and for those who are still around to hear their engines roar.