Bikers are ‘Dagan Strong’

Dozens of bikers came out Sunday to support Dagan Hawkins, 12, as he fights leukemia. The event was organized by the Biker Strong Association.

Dozens of bikers came out Sunday to support Dagan Hawkins, 12, as he fights leukemia. The event was organized by the Biker Strong Association.

Sam Shriver | The Lima News

Dagan Hawkins

Dagan Hawkins

Submitted photo

Dagan Hawkins, a 12-year-old Bath Middle School student, hugs a tree at Bressler Reservoir on Sunday. Hawkins is battling leukemia. The Biker Strong Association organized Sunday’s fundraiser to help the Hawkins family.

Sam Shriver | The Lima News

CRIDERSVILLE — Dozens of motorcycles left the Village Cafe in Cridersville on Sunday, as part of a Dominate for Dagan fundraiser for Dagan Hawkins, a 12-year-old Bath Middle School student who has cancer.

His father, Dustin Hawkins, recounts his son not feeling quite right last fall.

“There for a couple of weeks, he was just feeling really fatigued and tired, and some days he would look pale but he wasn’t sick. He wasn’t puking, no fever, nothing like that,” Hawkins said. “About the third or fourth time he went to a school nurse, I made a doctor’s appointment for him, and they drew his blood, and his blood counts were way off — all of them were.”

Off they went to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where they diagnosed Dagan with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“He went into a month of chemo and got into remission,” said Lisa Banks, Dagan’s grandmother. “Since then, he’s had to go through six more months of chemo to try to keep it from coming back, and there’s about three weeks left of that and then three years of maintenance chemo.”

T-Bone Jacobs, founder and president of the Biker Strong Association, an organization formed in 2015 to help raise funds for children battling cancer, heard about Dagan and organized an event to raise money, but more importantly, support.

“It’s much more than money because the money is only temporary. It’s about bringing all walks of life together and impacting lives because the child or the children that we help will always be impacted by that. That’s a lifelong blessing,” Jacobs said.

Dagan’s lowered immune system prevented him from seeing the bikers leave the Village Cafe. Instead, he watched it from Grubb Road at Bressler Reservoir with his family as the bikers passed by.

Dagan’s family continues to appreciate the support they’ve received.

“The support that he’s had since he’s been diagnosed has been amazing. This community, the school, everybody’s come out, and it’s just been amazing to see the support,” said Banks.

“We just need emotional support from everybody, and stuff like this really makes us smile,” Dustin Hawkins said.

Dozens of bikers came out Sunday to support Dagan Hawkins, 12, as he fights leukemia. The event was organized by the Biker Strong Association.

Dagan Hawkins

Dagan Hawkins, a 12-year-old Bath Middle School student, hugs a tree at Bressler Reservoir on Sunday. Hawkins is battling leukemia. The Biker Strong Association organized Sunday’s fundraiser to help the Hawkins family.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.