Jon had been struggling with lung and brain cancer for quite some time and he was nearing the end of the battle. He had a special request and his friends were doing what they could to fulfill his last wish.
When Jon Stanley was younger, he was a biker. But now, at age 61, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He loved to feel and hear the roar of his Harley so his last wish was to hear it once again.
When Jon was no longer able to move around because of his illness and needed a respirator to breathe, Michael Smith, his brother-in-law got in touch with David Thompson, a local biker.
“I was contacted this morning about 6:30 this morning by Mike Smith through Facebook-and he informed me about Jon, you know he’s terminal, and he’s not looking really good, and one of his wishes was to hear a bunch of motorcycles out his window,” Thompson said.
Thompson got on Facebook and asked bikers to go to Jon’s house in South Bend, Indiana. It would allow him to hear the engines which he feels is the greatest sound in the world.
“Sometimes a dying person’s last wish is just to hear the sound of a Harley in their window. This is Jon Stanley he has terminal cancer. I personally met with his family this morning and learned Jon is a vet and was an abate member who has rode for years,” Thompson wrote.
“This is his new Harley he just got and only rode 3 times! I know this is short notice but bikers take care of bikers!” he continued.
Within six hours, some 200 people had assembled on over 100 motorcycles to grant Jon his final wish.
John was in his bed on June 12, 2017, when the crowd outside began to rev their engines. His family took him outside and sat him in a sidecar so he could even feel the vibrations.
Pat Schoff Gragg was one of the bikers on hand for the touching moment. He said: “You could tell he enjoyed the feeling of that one last rumble.”
He further added, “He was holding on.”
Gragg said that bikers had come from different cities, regions and districts.
“We rode over, surrounded his house and we revved. Windows were shaking, we knew he felt it,” Gragg shared.
Thompson added, “You could just feel the vibrations. He knew we were out there. He raised his arm up.”
“He got to get on a bike one last time, and that was great,” said Jon’s daughter, Kristy Stewart.
“That’s the last thing he heard, the revving, the bikes. I know he’s happy,” Jon’s wife, Brenda, said.
“Knowing that all this happened for one man. All he ever wanted was him and his wife on that Harley,” Jon’s granddaughter, Liliana Ramirez, said.
Some of the bikers were so touched by what they saw that they were moved to tears. The kindness that they showed helped him to die a contented man. It also helped his family and friends who were on hand.
Within a couple of hours, Jon passed away peacefully in his wife’s arms.