Bakersfield grandmother uses motorcycle to raise money for grandson battling cancer

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield grandmother, who has spent most of her life riding motorcycles and giving back to the community, is about to make a huge difference for her grandson who is battling cancer.  

She's doing it with a set of keys, two wheels and a whole lot of love.

Carol Donnelly loves all of her grandchildren, and takes pride in spoiling each and every one of them, especially her 13-year-old grandson, Austin Wilson.

"Austin means the world to me," she said.

When Wilson was seven he was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor.

"His chemotherapy treatments have to be done at the children's hospital down at UCLA and it's every week, two different medications.  It's a trip down and back using a lot of fuel, food, and sometimes a hotel stay if there's complications," said Donnelly.

The tumor was removed, but doctors continued monitoring the small piece that was necessary to leave behind. Just recently, an MRI showed the cancer had returned.

"When you're  a parent or a grandparent, you would gladly take their place," she said.

Donnelly decided to take her love for the road and use it to raise money for him.  She created Team Austin, and a benefit ride to give away her 1997 Harley Davidson Soft Tail, estimated to be worth $6,000.

"I think its very nice because I didn't know there were so many nice people in the world.  There's still a lot of goodness in our world," said Wilson.

Wilson starts an aggressive round of chemotherapy this week, but with his grandmother's support and the rest of his family, he's going into treatment like a fighter.

"I'm a little bit nervous because it's pretty much my first time getting chemo because the first time I got away pretty clean without having to do anything so, I'm a little bit scared.  I know if I stay positive, everything will go well," said Wilson.

The bike ride fundraiser for Austin Wilson takes place Sunday, Oct. 5th at 10 a.m. at Bikersfield.  


You can join the ride with a $20 donation per rider ($10 passenger) which includes lunch donated by Natalie Mears at Ethels Old Corral.  All bikes, cars and even horses welcome!  Motorcycle drawing will be held the day of the event.  Winner does not need to be present.  Tickets are available at Bellvedere, Valley Cycle, Trouts (11am-6pm) and Ethels.


Carlos is on Facebook at

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