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Shelby motorcycle club rallies community to help member’s family

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By Deanna Godman

Stacey Babb’s son, Alex, is 5 years old. When he was about 6 months old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and went through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

While the cancer seemed to be gone, her medical bills were overwhelming. She was unable to work, and her husband, Tim, had to work from home to care for her and her son.

This past September, the family received the worst possible news. Stacey Babb went in for testing because she was experiencing headaches. The doctors found more tumors, but this time it was the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Surgery was not possible because of the location of the tumors, and because Stacey had so much radiation during her first fight, using that approach again was out of the question. Chemotherapy was her only option.

On March 25, Stacey Babb lost her battle with cancer. She was 27.

In the months before Stacey Babb’s health deteriorated, Stacey and Tim Babb had become very involved in the Goldwing Road Riders Association of Shelbyville, a motorcycle club that meets monthly at Stratton Center and goes on rides and raises money for people who need help.

And at 1 p.m. this Sunday at First Christian Church in Shelbyville, members of the GWRRA will be helping one of their own when they host a community fundraiser to help Tim and Alex Babb cope with the mountain of expense Stacey’s battle against cancer had left behind.

The event will feature several bands, and one of them, band ExitUp of Shelbyville, which recently has signed to be part of the new Christian movie Jackson’s Run being filmed around Shelby County. Band member Mark Potts said two walk-on roles in the movie will be auctioned off on Sunday.

Howard Griffith of GWRRA, who is coordinating the fundraiser, said the public auction also will include two paintings and a stained glass window work from Shelby Artists on Main, another stained glass piece, a handmade quilt, U of L and UK lamps and numerous other items.

There also will be a 5K run at Clear Creek Park on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Participants can give $5 of the $25 race fee to the Babb Family Benefit.

 

Fast friends

Mary Trice of Fisherville met Babb through the motorcycle club. One day, the club, the Goldwing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) of Shelbyville, met up for a ride at the Dairy Queen in Shelbyville.

Stacey and Tim happened to ride up on their new bike and asked if they could ride, too.

The Babbs sat with Trice and her husband when the group had dinner at its destination.

Soon, the Babbs became very involved in the club  –  Tim is the Webmaster, and Stacey became the treasurer.

Trice said she found out about Babb’s earlier experience with cancer when she asked if Alex ever would have siblings. Babb explained that the radiation treatments had eliminated the possibility that she would ever have more children.

 

How to tell her

In November, Tim Babb told Trice that the doctors informed him that Stacey had been given 12 to 14 months to live, and he could not decide if he should tell her or not.

“I told him, ‘Tim, if it was me, the mother in me would want to know,’ ” Trice said, adding that she would want to write things down for her family or do something special with them.

For Christmas, Trice gave Stacey Babb a recordable Nativity story to read to Alex.

“When he has children, he can let his children listen to their grandmother’s voice,” Trice said.

Babb did not know until after Christmas that her cancer was terminal. She told Trice that she appreciated the recordable book when Trice gave it to her, but “it meant so much more to her now.”

“I never heard her complain,” said Trice. “She always had a smile on her face.”

Trice said that Babb attended the motorcycle club’s meeting in March. She had lost the ability to use one side of her body at that point, but she was still smiling.

“Stacey told me, ’You take one day at a time, and you don’t take anything for granted,’” Trice said.

 

‘That’s a good thing’

Trice said Tim Babb told her at Stacey’s memorial service about a conversation he had with Alex shortly before Stacey passed away, when he explained what was happening.

Alex said, “Well, Daddy, when Mama dies, will she got to heaven?”

Babb explained that she would. Alex asked if his Mama would be able to sing and dance and see Jesus, and Tim said that she would. Alex said, “Well, that’s a good thing.”

 

Babb Family Benefit

 

WHAT:A fundraiser to benefit the family of Tim and Alex Babb and the late Stacey Babb.

WHEN:1-5 p.m. Sunday, road race at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

WHERE:First Christian Church, Shelbyville.

ON TAP:Live music, motorcycle display, silent auction and chili supper.

DONATIONS:$5 of $25 road race fee will go Babb Family Fund. There also is a PayPal donation link at bit.ly/BabbFamily.