Jon was dying; he was at the end of his long battle with lung and brain cancer. His friends did something really special for him to fulfill his final wish.
Jon Stanley, 61, was a biker from way back, long before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He missed the roar of his Harley, the feel of the bike beneath him. He had one last wish, and that was to hear that roar again.
So when he became too ill to move around and was relying on a respirator to breathe, his brother-in-law Michael Smith contacted local biker David Thompson.
“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 told WBND.
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…
Thompson then put out an SOS on Facebook, asking for bikers to assemble at Jon’s house in South Bend, Indiana, just so he could tune in to the engines, which to him was life’s greatest sound.
“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.
It only took just six hours to rustle up 200 people and more than 100 motorbikes to fulfill Jon’s final wish.
As Jon lay in his bed on June 12, 2017, they all gathered outside with engines revving and purring. His family decided to carry him outside and sit him in a sidecar to feel the vibrations—one last time.
One of the bikers, Pat Schoff Gragg, who participated in this touching moment, told Inside Edition, “You could tell he enjoyed the feeling of that one last rumble.”
He further added, “He was holding on.”
Gragg also mentioned that there were bikers from different cities, regions, and districts who showed up.
“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.
BIKERS COME TOGETHER: Jon Stanley's dying wish was to hear the roar of a motorcycle one last time. Hundreds of bikers, both friends and strangers, came together last night to ride and gather outside of his South Bend home to grant his wish. Stanley was even able to briefly join the bikers in a sidecar. Sadly, friends tell us Stanley lost his battle with terminal cancer not long after this emotional tribute.
Posted by WSBT-TV on Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Some of the bikers were emotional and shed a tear or two when they witnessed Jon’s obvious joy at this gathering.
The kindness of the people involved went a long way to allowing him to die content. His family and friends also gained solace from this wonderful gesture.
Jon passed away a couple of hours later, as he lay peacefully in his wife’s arms.
You can watch Jon and his final wish come true in this video…