PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A 12-year-old Volusia County boy got a surprise like no other thanks to the biker community.
Hundreds of motorcyclists joined in Port Orange to celebrate his life as he turned 12 on Tuesday. They showed up with gifts, signed birthday cards, and a sense of joy and unity.
“We thought we were gonna get 20, 30, 40 bikes to go by,” Bob Williams, one of the organizers, said. “We’re gonna meet up with another group, we’re probably gonna end up around 300, maybe more than 300.”
Williams said people from Jacksonville, Orlando and many other cities joined in on the surprise birthday celebration. For Williams, who has never met Keegan, it was an emotional day.
"The biker community is tight and we come out for causes, and this one touched everyone's heart," he said.
Jill Colon joined with a friend and their two small dogs. They also brought a big birthday sign which was propped up in the back of their convertible white Volkswagen Beetle.
The group came out in masses after Keegan’s mom posted on Facebook that she wanted to celebrate his birthday with a few motorcycles driving past their home. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and because Keegan has autism and a weakened immune system, she couldn’t celebrate him with a party or an outing.
"I was expecting maybe 30 bikers and I just had a lady tell me she drove hew from Fort Lauderdale so it means everything," Shawna Pelfrey said. "He's my fighter and he's a strong boy."
A day filled with emotions for the family -- as Keegan looked on while strangers came together to sing him “Happy birthday.”
“The support that we’ve got just from hoping to get 30 bikes is amazing like it makes you feel like there’s a community that’s willing to come together just to make one little boy happy for one day. So, it’s totally worth it,” Pelfrey said.