Together, Darlene and Buddy have enjoyed riding their motorcycle throughout the north Georgia mountains. In fitting spirit of this cherished past time, Buddy and Darlene organized a benefit ride last year to raise money for the fight against cancer.
All proceeds from the July 9 ride will be given to Cancer Navigators, a Rome-based nonprofit offering free resources and aid to cancer patients.
"Cancer Navigators really do a wonderful job. They'll help you do anything and that's my inspiration for doing it, is just helping others," Buddy Bagley said, adding that funds going to Cancer Navigators stays locally helping neighbors and friends. "This is more on the individual level. They are in the community and it stays in the community and these counties in north Georgia."
Although based in Rome, Cancer Navigators serves mainly those patients in Floyd, Chattooga and Polk counties but regularly helps others in Bartow, Gordon and neighboring communities in Alabama.
"We're a bridge between the physicians and the medical side and the patient. We assist with resources if they need help getting social security, insurance, transportation, food, any of that kind of stuff," said Scharla Battle, Cancer Navigators office manager. "Plus we have a nurse that helps if they have questions about their treatment, about their diagnosis. For emotional support, we also have a counselor. I guess you would call us a middleman for their cancer diagnosis and their cancer journey."
The Ride for Cancer Navigators will leave from Logtown off of Main Street in Adairsville on Saturday, July 9. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with the ride beginning at 10 a.m. A registration of $30 per person and $10 per extra rider will include a shirt and food before and after the ride.
The ride itself will take place over a course of 56 miles from Adairsville on a scenic loop through Waleska with police escort. Riders will cover the same course used last year. That inaugural event brought almost 50 riders and nearly $6,600. The Bagley's hope to increase those numbers with this year's ride.
Buddy has continued to find encouragement and inspiration from his wife's example through her struggle with cancer. Her faith and courage has inspired him to aid in the benefit efforts.
"She's an inspiration, just watching her and the inspiration she has, her strength in religion and salvation, just her strength in wanting to live. She's just got a desire to live and she's got a desire to help others in the same shape she's in," Buddy said. "I watched her and seen what she went through and what she goes through every day and I'm over there with those folks every three weeks seeing what they go through and I just want to reach out and be a help to the people that have cancer."
Anyone wishing to give to the cause without riding is welcome to join after the ride returns to Logtown around 11:30 a.m. for lunch. For more information on the July 9 Ride for Cancer Navigators call Buddy at 770-313-8190. For more information on the Cancer Navigators organization call 706-295-4119 or visit www.cancernavigatorsga.org.