Bikers get ready to ride for Bella
LONDONDERRY — It's been more than two years since a bout with a near-fatal infection changed Bella Tucker's life forever.
The 10-year-old Londonderry girl, who endured four amputations to combat tissue damage resulting from streptococcus pneumonia sepsis in spring 2010, is now getting ready to hit the highways with several hundred caring friends.
The third annual Ride for Bella is set for Sunday, July 15, with all proceeds from the event to help Bella's family with their medical bills.
Last year, more than 400 motorcyclists joined Bella's family to raise more than $16,000. Bella's mom, Selena Roarty, said she's hoping to surpass last year's record.
“She's growing every day and is constantly growing out of her prosthetics,” Roarty said of her daughter.
Like last year, the ride begins at 8 a.m. at the Steve N James Tavern in Derry, with bikers taking a ride to Seacoast Harley-Davidson and back.
Local police serve as volunteer escorts for the bikers, many of whom have helped out at the event since its inception.
“Our goal is to get the same or more bikers as last year,” Roarty said.
The event will also feature live music, raffles and plenty of food.
In the meantime, Bella continues to stay active. She enjoys swimming with her friends and siblings, and her parents said she often sends text messages and has mastered the use of her iPad. At South School last year, she played in the school band and marched with her bandmates in the recent Memorial Day parade. She starts middle school in the fall.
And last week, Bella went on her very first motorcycle ride.
“She'll be leading the pack this year,” her mother said.
Registration for this year's Ride for Bella begins at 8 a.m. at Steve N James Tavern, located at 187 Rockingham Road in Derry. The cost is $25 per rider and $15 per passenger, with each participant receiving a T-shirt. The ride kicks off at 10:15 a.m., rain or shine.
For more information or to donate to the cause, visit www.rideforbella.org.
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