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Four-year-old Marlton boy battles cancer in style after dream for a motorcycle ride becomes reality

July 19, 2017

From The Marlton Sun:

Chase Gilchrist has battled anaplastic ependymoma brain cancer from when he was age 1, yet his parents say it’s never slowed him down.  Marlton’s Chase Gilchrist, 4, has been battling some form of an anaplastic ependymoma brain cancer from around the time he turned 1 year old, yet Chase’s parents say it’s never slowed him down.

Such was the case earlier this week in the parking lot of the Plaza 70 Shopping Center when engines roared and Chase reached one of his long-time goals of getting to ride on a motorcycle.

To ensure Chase gets the most out of life, his parents say they’ve adopted the philosophy of helping Chase achieve as many of his fun ideas and dreams as they can.

Yet while Chase has wanted to ride on a motorcycle for some time, his parents say they’ve been telling him he was too young, simply because they didn’t know anyone with a motorcycle who could help.

Fast-forward to Evesham’s recent Fourth of July parade when Chase saw a child riding on a motorcycle with no problem, and his parents knew they had to figure something out.

Chase’s mother Nicole Gilchrist asked around on Facebook if there was anyone with a motorcycle who would be willing to give Chase a short ride, and the wheels began to spin.

The Gilchrist family was put in touch with Angelo Breaux Sr., a member of the Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey military support group and a rider with the Warriors’ Watch Riders motorcycle group that often helps with Operation Yellow Ribbon events.

Exactly one week after seeing the Fourth of July parade, Chase and his two brothers were on motorcycles in front of Breaux’s Family & Co. Jewelers store.

“I have three children and two grandchildren, and thankfully they’re all healthy, but I can certainly relate to a parent that would have a child with a terrible illness and wanting to do whatever they can,” Breaux said.

Since Chase was first diagnosed, his parents say he’s undergone multiple brain surgeries, two rounds of radiation and one round of chemotherapy in his fight against the disease.

According to Chase’s mother, Chase finished his latest treatment in February, after having spent six months on and off in the hospital during the past year.

“He just keeps going. He is super determined to beat cancer. He’ll tell you ‘I kicked cancer’s butt, and I’ll do it again if I have to,’ and he never gets down and never complains about his cancer and not feeling well,” Gilchrist said.

When it came time for Chase’s first ride, Chase said he was excited as he hopped on the back of a motorcycle with Ian Bralow, the Family & Co. Jewelers business manager and also a member of the Warriors’ Watch Riders.

“What can I say, it feels good to do something good, that’s all it is,” Bralow said. “All of us Warriors’ Watch Riders, that’s what we do. It’s just about doing something good.”

Anyone looking to help the Gilchrist family with medical bills and other costs associated with Chase’s treatments can search for “CHASE-ing a CURE for CHASE” on www.gofundme.co

Photos by Zane Clark: From top, Chase Gilchrist, 4, poses for a photo with Family & Co. Jewelers business manager Ian Bralow, Family & Co. Jewelers owner Angelo Breaux Sr. helps Chase with his helmet, Chase and Bralow ride through the parking lot in front of Family & Co. Jewelers.

 

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