Saturday, January 5, 2008


It was a convoy of leather, loud engines, and plenty of love for a little girls that bikers have never met named Lia. "The insurance companies won't cover her, the government won't help her, so I'm just trying to do the best I can," Michael said. Michael and the Pacesetter's Motorcycle Club are rolling out to raise money for Lia Custodio, a three year old girl with a rare disease that destructs her immune system. "If she got the flu right now, it would be devastating for her. If she gets a cold, it will 20 times faster go to bronchitis," Lia's mother Kristi Custodio said. Things seemed hopeless for Lia before her brother Manny was born seven months ago. It was a one-in-a-million chance, but he was the perfect stem cell match. "It's a miracle that this has happened for us," Custodio said. And a miracle that Lia has also held onto. Her mother Kristy Custodio says Lia's immune system is operating at only 16 percent right now. The only time she can leave the house is for chemotherapy treatments. "We're looking forward to playing with children, we're looking forward to going to a park, going to a water park, to having friends, going to school. We were told she wouldn't be able to go to school, she'd be homeschooled. That's no life for somebody," Lia's grandmother Donna Springer said. But these bikers hope that a ride for Lia can crank up fundraising for her stem cell transplant and put her on the path to a better life. "I hope one day, if this transplant helps, one day she'll get out and play in the grass and be a kid like she should be, not be stuck in the house," Webb said. That's a day the Custodio's dream about reaching. "I think she would be so excited and would want to ride on one of those bikes," Custodio said. And maybe one day she will, thanks to the giving hearts of these rebels with a cause.
It's unclear how long it will be before Lia's surgery takes place, because her immune system must completely fail before she'll be ready for the transplant.