GOSHEN — Just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, six motorcycles rumbled through Waterford Crossing to give resident Carolyn Welch, 71, an hour-long ride around Elkhart County.
Welch was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, she said, and for a final wish she told family members she wanted to go on a motorcycle ride. She originally thought it would be a solo ride, and was surprised when friends and family surprised her outside the nursing home with a convoy of six motorcycles.
The nursing home staff termed the event "Carolyn's Dream Ride."
"I feel awesome, like I'm floating on air," Welch said before the ride Tuesday. Growing up she said she owned a motorcycle, which inspired her sons to buy them when they got older. Among the family members outside to send Carolyn off was her son, Ron Scott.
"All my mom wanted was a ride," he said, "but she's unaware of the scale we've made this."
Flyers were sent out encouraging riders to join Welch in her ride. Originally the family wanted to keep everything a surprise, but plans were spoiled when they had to make sure she could get on the motorcycle.
"This is awesome," Scott said. "It's going to be a great memory for us after she passes."
Despite the cancer diagnosis, Welch has kept her spirits up thanks to the support around her, she said.
"At first I was scared, but I talked with family and I started going to church," Welch said. "There's a lot of people around you that can help. Don't do it alone."
Ben Mikesell can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 328. Follow him on Twitter at @ben_mikesell.