September 29, 2023

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Motorcycle club raising funds for Timmins girl with heart defect

‘Bike Run For Payton’ taking place this Saturday

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The Warriors Hard Rock motorcycle club is holding a charity ride this Saturday for a five-year-old Timmins girl who has struggled with a severe heart defect.

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Other motorcyclists are invited to take part in the ride in support of this cause.

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The girl’s mom, Taylor Gervais, says her daughter Payton has been in and out of hospital since birth.

“She was born with a heart condition called double aortic arch. And that grew a vascular ring that was pressing her trachea and her esophagus,” Gervais explained. “So when she was born, she was unable to breathe.

“She had her first open heart surgery at 12 days old. And it was successful. But as she grew, she was always in the hospital sick with everything, working to breathe. And that’s because her airway from the ring had tracheomalacia which is floppiness of the airway.

“So at 1½ years old, she went for her second heart surgery where they moved her aorta, because it was pressing against her trachea, to the right … So it’s been very, touch and go. She turns blue when she cries.

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“She works to breathe when she has physical activity. She’s on a ventilator at night. But now we’re, we’re in the works of getting two more airway surgeries.”

Gervais who, with her husband, also have a seven-year-old daughter, said it has been a challenge for the family.

“She (Payton) is turning six next month so, it’s been six years of continual procedures … I wouldn’t say there’s anything normal about my life. It’s been pretty difficult for the past six years, but we try to make our life as normal as possible, but it’s been a struggle since the day she was born.”

Gervais has a Facebook page called Breaths for Payton which she uses to keep friends and family up to date on Payton’s health and raise awareness of her daughter’s condition.

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It was through that page that Jason Fasciano, with the Warriors Hard Rock motorcycle club, learned about Payton and reached out to the family, offering to hold a charity ride on their behalf.

Gervais said, “We felt truly honoured to have been chosen for their annual ride.”

Fasciano said, “We’re hoping to get as many riders as possible. Two years ago we had 120 riders.”

The riders will leave Timmins at noon doing the “Cochrane loop,” using highways 655, 11, 577 and 101 back to Timmins.

The registration is $30 per rider and $10 per passenger.

“All the proceeds are going to the family to help them out,” said Fasciano.

In addition to helping out a local family, he said there are other incentives.

“You register to get involved in the ride. If they don’t want to ride, they can still come and register. There’s prizes and stuff. We’re going to be pulling draws afterwards. We got a trip to see the Blue Jays and that’s just for registering.”

That top prize includes game tickets, airfare and hotel accommodation in Toronto.

Registration for Saturday’s Bike Run For Payton will be at Mikey’s General Sales and Repair on Airport Road, starting at 11 a.m.

The ride begins at noon.

Gervais the funds raised from this charity ride will be put away for Payton’s next airway surgeries as they will require a “lengthy stay” at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children followed by a further stay at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

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