SW INSPIRE: Meagan Martin
Founder, Bikers For Life Foundation
BY FARAH F. JADRAN | PHOTO BY JUSSARA POTTER
When a tragedy occurs, an almost immediate feeling of despair and helplessness kicks in. No matter what we do, it tends to not feel like it’s enough. For Meagan Martin, figuring out what she could do for those around her became clear during a time of mourning. In the summer of 2011, she lost two friends in motorcycle accidents, both within only a few days of each other.
“As I was sitting at home after one of the funerals trying to wrap my head around what had happened, I decided that I wanted to do something for the families involved,” Meagan said. “I couldn’t imagine losing a child, father, brother or friend so unexpectedly and tragically.”
With action in her mind and passion in her heart, Megan decided to design rubber wristbands with “RIP Fallen Riders” on it, similar to the “LIVESTRONG” wristbands. “I knew it was something both men and women wouldn’t mind wearing,” she said. “’So, I told my biker friends what I was doing and that I will give them two weeks to order one at $5, and whatever money was raised would be split between the families to help offset funeral costs.”
After all was said and done, people kept asking about the wristbands and where they could get them. “I knew I wanted to do more to help the biker community.”
Meagan happily grew up around motorcycles. “I used to ride on my father’s 1977 Harley SuperGlide since I could reach the pegs,” Meagan said. “It’s been a huge part of my life and my family for as long as I can remember. When my father passed away, I had my uncle ride my father’s bike, as well as a few of his other friends ride motorcycles in his funeral procession.”
And for the last few years she has become accustomed to her boyfriend riding a sport bike, on which she has ridden passenger several times. Since their close friend Pete Perry lost his life in a motorcycle accident, Meagan’s boyfriend only rides “Track Days” in a controlled environment on race tracks all over the country and will no longer ride on the street. “If I were to learn to ride myself, I would do the same and only ride on the track.”
With Perry’s accident on her mind, she still has both sadness and celebration in her heart. “Every once in a while I will see someone who resembles him, and I often see a single yellow bird in my backyard in the summer (the color of his motorcycle), and it always brings a smile to my face and makes me think of him,” Meagan said. “It still just seems very unreal.”
When she first started selling the wristbands, the money raised was to be split between the Perry family and that of Jayson Killian, the second tragic death Meagan and her circle of friends experienced. While Killian was not a close, personal friend prior to his passing, she become very close with his family, and they have been helpful in spreading the word for Bikers for Life Foundation.
There have been other riders who have benefited from the money raised who unfortunately were injured this past summer.
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