Motorcycle ride planned in Blount’s memory

An April 20 motorcycle ride and fundraiser will benefit Matthew Blount, left. The event has been organized by Nicole Hernandez and Blount's wife, Melinda, right. (File)

An April 20 motorcycle ride and fundraiser will benefit Matthew Blount, left. The event has been organized by Nicole Hernandez and Blount’s wife, Melinda, right. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Friends and family members of a Pelham soldier who passed away in 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer and leukemia will honor his memory while working to raise money for those facing cancer during an April 20 event.

Pelham native and U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Matthew Blount was a Pelham High School graduate who served in the Army for 13 years as a combat medic and on a mortar platoon in Iraq before passing away on March 10, 2012.

Blount’s friends and family members have worked with Pelham’s Texas Roadhouse to organize the second-annual Ride for a Cure memorial motorcycle ride and fundraiser to benefit the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Registration for the event will be from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and will cost $50 per motorcycle.

The event will begin at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena at 9 a.m., and will include a three-hour ride before ending at the Texas Roadhouse off Alabama 119.

After the riders arrive at Texas Roadhouse, the restaurant will donate 15 percent of all event participants’ food purchases from noon-3 p.m. to the Sarcoma Foundation.

Nicole Hernandez, who is working with Blount’s widow, Melinda, to organize the event, said sarcoma is a form of cancer primarily affecting connective tissues such as nerves, bones and muscles.

“According to the SFA statistics, at any one time 50,000 people can be living with sarcoma. About 12,000 new cases are diagnosed each year,” Hernandez said. “Surgery in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation results in a cure rate of some 50-55 percent.

“Though progress has been made, there is still an urgent need for further sarcoma research, education and advocacy,” Hernandez added. “It can attack anyone, at any time, and is often diagnosed too late, leaving those affected with few treatment options.”

Hernandez said cases of sarcoma are relatively uncommon compared to other types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma cancers.

To support the Sarcoma Foundation of America, Blount’s friends and family members have set up the Soldiering for Sarcoma foundation.

For more information about the ride or Soldiering for Sarcoma, visit Soldiering4sarcoma.com or email info@soldiering4sarcoma.com.