Letters to the Editor

Be mindful during bike weeks, they can be deadly

Mother’s Day came again and it was another celebration without my first-born son. My son Michae1 was declared brain dead on May 12, 2003 as the result of a motorcycle accident on May 11, caused by an automobile driver who darted in front of his path. On May 13, Mother’s Day, his organs were harvested for donation.

My husband died two and a half years prior to my son, due to pancreatic cancer. At that time, I thought nothing in my life could top that devastation, but I was wrong. To lose a child, even an adult child which Michael was, is indescribable. A day does not go by that I don’t think of him and see his closed coffin at the funeral draped with the American flag. That was the day I thought my heart would stop.

The driver has never apologized or sent condolences and was only ticketed with failure to yield the right of way. That year during bike week in Myrtle Beach, there were several motorcycle fatalities, most resulting in failure-to-yield-right-of-way tickets to the drivers, even though some were at fault.

Michael was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines Force Recon and served two tours in Iraq. I set up a scholarship fund in his name to benefit veterans who want to learn motorcycle technology.

Nine men, six who are veterans, have been awarded the funds. This year a disabled veteran will be the beneficiary. Any donations should be made out to Central Carolina Community College “CCCC” with the notation: for Michael Delamere Scholarship fund and mailed to 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, NC 27330, the town where Michael was raised.

Bike week is approaching, so please be particularly alert to cyclists. Fortunately my heart did not stop due to the wonderful people in my life. Now I can even partake of the Mother’s Day celebrations.

The writer lives in St. Petersburg, Fla.