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La Crosse’s Big Bikes for Little Tikes at 27 rides for Bangor 9-year-old Emerson Small



For 27 years, La Crosse’s 95.7 The Rock has been, essentially, making the wish come true for a special child and family in need.

This year is no different, with the Rock Foundation’s 27th Annual Big Bikes For Little Tikes, dedicated to 9-year-old Emerson Small, who has a rare genetic disorder that affects her vision, hearing and mobility. It also evolved into a severe form of epilepsy.

: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20
WHERE: Start — Onalaska Harley Davidson; Finish — Onalaska American Legion
WHY: Fundraiser for 9-year-old Emerson Small

This year’s Big Bikes fundraiser and motorcycle ride will happen beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, leaving from Great River Harley Davidson on Oak Forest Dr. in Onalaska. Participants will wind through the beautiful roads of the Coulee Region, finishing up at the Onalaska American Legion.

There, free brats from Bubba’s Meats and beverages, after the ride concludes, plus a chance to win some cool prizes from sponsors.

With the community’s help, Big Bikes can provide Emerson’s family with some much needed, and very expensive, medical equipment not covered by insurance. This includes a state-of-the-art, specialty bed that will help monitor and keep Emerson safe, secure and comfortable.

Emerson wasn’t born with the problems she now has. Her birth was completely normal. But, within the first hour after she was born, doctors discovered Emerson had a cleft palate and a foot deformity, which they believed was related to some sort of syndrome. That, however, left her family with more questions than answers.

Three months later, it was confirmed that Emerson has a very rare genetic disorder — a duplication of the 16th chromosome and a deletion of the 20th chromosome. This combination is so rare, there has not even been any scientific research on it yet.

Emerson spent the first month of her life in the NICU at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. She has undergone 18 surgeries and procedures. She has significant hearing loss and vision issues.

At four months old, she was diagnosed with seizures, which have evolved into a severe form of epilepsy. Emerson has mobility challenges, relies on the use of a walker or wheelchair, and has developmental delays.

Despite the challenges, Emerson attends West Salem Elementary School, where she is adored by students and teachers alike. She has a 16-year-old sister Kaylea, as well as a chocolate lab named Remi, who is her best bud and protector.

Emerson enjoys camping, swimming, cupcakes, and the music of Johnny Cash.

Emerson’s Mom (Kristen) is a registered Nurse and Dad (Ty) works as a Tire Service Technician at TSS and is a volunteer firefighter.

Their family wish is simple and will make a huge impact on their quality of life. Emerson needs a specialty bed, designed specifically for her by Beds by George, to keep her safe. Knowing Emerson can sleep without the chance of getting injured during a seizure or becoming entrapped will give her family the gift of rest and overall peace of mind.

Big Bikes for Little Tikes is made possible thanks to community partners: Schneider Accounting and TaxInterstate RoofingLuke’s Repairs LLCNorthern EngravingSeland’s KarpetlandApril Carrier – Farmers InsuranceRudy’sAce of all Trades, Midwest Mortgage Team, Reedy Concrete, Bubba’s MeatsWisconsin Insurance CenterLa Crosse Movers and First American Roofing and Siding.

Facebook event page is here.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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