MUSCATINE, Iowa-30 years ago, no one thought Matt Fry would live to go home from the hospital with his family. Born with severe cerebral palsy, Michael Fry, Matt Fry’s brother, recalls, “the doctors were adamant that Matt would not survive long enough to come home after he was born and that if he did and he made it home, he would not make it past the age of three or four.” Defying all expectations, Matt Fry celebrated his 30th birthday on April 26. To help Matt Fry mark this milestone, nearly 200 local motorcycle riders put on an unforgettable social distance event in his honor.
Originally, Michael Fry and his family planned a small party of sorts for Matt Fry. Some of his close relatives and friends would park on the street and sing happy birthday to him as he sat on the porch. However, only two or three days before Matt Fry’s birthday, Michael Fry had an idea for making it even more memorable. “I got to thinking about Matt’s love for motorcycles and how incredibly happy he gets when one drives by the house, and thought, ‘I wonder if I can get a few to drive by and help him celebrate.'”
Michael Fry shared the idea with several of his biker friends, as well as freelance motorcycle columnist Chad Brislawn, author of “No Baffles No Brakes.” He asked each of them to come out for the celebration and to invite their friends as well. Michael Fry anticipated having about 30 or 40 riders show up and hoped Matt Fry would enjoy hearing them all sing to him.
On the afternoon of April 26, around 200 motorcyclists arrived, parking at a distance from each other on the street or spacing themselves around the edges of Matt Fry’s yard. All together, they sang Happy Birthday to him, to his great delight. “Matt was beyond thrilled,” shared Michael Fry. “The smile that was on his face said it all.”