Riders Pay a Visit to Loma Linda Children’s Hospital

In the online world, former pro racer and frequent TransWorld Motocross contributor Steve Bauer has a bit of a reputation as an Internet bully. But that’s not the whole story. Yesterday, TransWorld Motocross went along with a group of riders that included Jeff Emig, Nate Ramsey, Trevor Vines, Danny Smith and Josh Hansen, as they visited the Children’s Hospital at Loma Linda Medical Center…a visit that Bauer arranged. “A friend of mine is a nurse in the oncology unit…the children’s cancer unit over here at Loma Linda,” explained Bauer. “I was up there visiting her one night, and just kind of got the idea to bring some racers to visit. I figured it’d be a good thing to put some smiles on the faces of the kids, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing for some of the riders, either. Having been injured while racing in the past, they can definitely relate to the hospital time.”[IMAGE 1] “I talked to Denny Hartwig at Clear Channel and got some Bar to Bar 2002 videotapes so they’d know who was going to come visit them. Last Saturday night CCE’s Roy Jansen got real excited about this deal, and he jumped right on board. They sent out a bunch of goodies to hand out to the kids.”The first visit was to one of the playrooms, where after some initial shyness, the kids had fun playing games, watching videos, and meeting the visitors. They also dug scoring autographed schwag from the crew. Parents in attendance were also appreciative of the visit. “It helps them forget that they’re in the hospital,” related one parent. “To have that happen, even for a little while, is a big deal for them.”One of the coolest things was meeting Jonathan, a patient who had already concluded a long stay in the oncology unit. A former mini-class racer, he was someone who Josh Hansen remembered from when he’d attended a Donnie Hansen Motocross Academy clinic. Jonathan got a tip from one of the nursing staff that the riders would be stopping by, and returned to the hospital eager to meet his heroes. “Jonathan was as happy as anybody I’ve ever seen on Christmas morning,” said Trevor Vines. Jeff Emig agreed. “I was the first one out of the elevator, and I saw his eyes light up. It was really exciting to know that we can provide that sort of excitement for these kids who are going through pretty life-altering times.”[IMAGE 2] “I’ve done these a couple times, and each time you never know what to expect. At first there’s a little bit of shyness out of the kids. Once they see what’s going on, and they realize we’re motorcycle racers…most young boys dream of being an astronaut or fireman, or a motorcycle racer. So it’s really exciting that the little amount of time that we can spend with them brightens their day and makes this time in their life a little high point, if even for just a little while.”Nate Ramsey agreed. “This has been really cool. It’s definitely something that I wouldn’t want to miss. The hospital’s never a fun place to be, but when you feel like you cheer some people up, and you’ve got little guys bringing you toy food (see below), it’s a pretty cool place to be.”[IMAGE 3] The visit concluded with stops in individual rooms, to kids who couldn’t make it over to the playroom. While a trip to the hospital could have been looked upon as a downer, all the riders were upbeat after visiting with the kids there. “I enjoyed it a lot, said Danny Smith. “The kids were pretty cheerful and it’s cool to see. It makes it special for us, let alone them, to come and spend a little time with them. It keeps things in perspective and shows you what really matters. It was definitely good and I’d do it anytime.[IMAGE 4]Trevor Vines echoed Danny’s sentiment. “It was definitely cool to be able to see and sign autographs for some kids who probably aren’t going to get to an event anytime soon, and to kind of make their day. We all had fun, and it feels good to kind of give back and make some kids smile.”