A single mom from North Platte will benefit from the ninth annual Mikey Ride this year.
Laura Burke, 27, has a rare form of cancer known as endometrial stromal sarcoma.
She was diagnosed in August 2012 and since then has had four surgeries and pursued alternative forms of medicine to combat the disease. The cancer Burke has does not respond to chemotherapy or radiation.
As a result, she has been trying to find a cure on her own. The alternative medicines she uses are considered experimental and are not covered by insurance.
The expense, in addition to those incurred by raising a 6-year-old son, has been burdensome. Burke has relied on her family and state assistance thus far.
Mike and Susie Maupin, organizers of the annual Mikey Ride, want to help. They have raised approximately $75,000 through the charitable motorcycle poker run since starting it in 2006.
“When we look for someone to benefit from the Mikey Ride, we try to find a person we know personally or at least know of,” Mike said. “Laura’s father and Susie went to school together.”
Burke said she’s grateful and honored to have been selected.
“I think it will be fun,” Burke said. “The thing I’m looking forward to the most is having all my family and friends together in one spot.”
The Mikey Ride is scheduled for July 19. Registration for the poker run will begin at 9 a.m. at the Maupins’ house, 218 N. Sumner St. in Wallace. The 240-mile ride will start at 10 a.m.
Motorcycles will go south to Hayes Center and Trenton, then west to Haigler and Wray, Colo., north to Holyoke, Colo., and east through Venango and Grant before finishing back at Wallace.
A supper and live auction are planned for 5 p.m. at the Maupins’ home. Auction items include a Traeger grill, leather coats, Bronco pre-season football tickets, Nebraska football and volleyball tickets, sweet corn, watercolor paintings and homemade quilts, among many other things.
Mike said additional auction items will be accepted at the event. All proceeds from the sales will be given to Burke. A donation can will also be passed around for her.
The meal is free and open to the public. Side dishes for it are appreciated. The Maupins are furnishing bratwurst and refreshments. The families of Jessica Vapenik and Megan Friesen, women who benefited from the fundraiser in the past, will provide seasoned roasts.
People don’t have to buy a poker hand to go on the ride. If they choose to do so, the cost is $5. All money is paid back to the first two places and one random name drawn from the non-winning hands.