BIKER NEWS: Biker club provides lift to Emmaus boy with Down syndrome | Outlaws Bikers News

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BIKER NEWS: Biker club provides lift to Emmaus boy with Down syndrome

BIKER NEWS -- It's been a trying year for the family of a 10-year-old Emmaus boy with Down syndrome. Issues with a man in th...



BIKER NEWS -- It's been a trying year for the family of a 10-year-old Emmaus boy with Down syndrome.

Issues with a man in the neighborhood turned into harassment from a few adults against Ian Foerst, and the last six months have gotten worse, said his mother, Megan Foerst.

Foerst has called the police and is working through the legal system, but "there's only so much we can do," Foerst said, admitting she was at her breaking point.

So on Oct. 25, Megan Foerst reached out through a mother's group on Facebook, saying she was looking for the motorcycle club that escorted a Salisbury Township boy with Down syndrome on the first day of school to thwart potential bullies.

Foerst wrote that she wanted to, "let my son know he can go outside without being scared or needing to run inside after getting off the bus so he is safe. My son is the best little man and has come a very long way."

Forest said her son has had a number of surgeries, including open heart surgery when he was 5 months old.

"We're trying to make it as typical a life as possible for him," she said.

The group that escorted the Salisbury Township student was the Lehigh Valley chapter of the Nam Knights. While the group, formed by Vietnam veterans who were also police officers, focuses on helping veterans and the families of fallen police officers, they also do community outreach.

Kevin Slack, who lives in Bethlehem, has been part of the Nam Knights for three years. Slack said a friend at work saw Forest's Facebook post and showed it to him.

"No one deserves to be treated like that," Slack said. "We just wanted to let him know he has friends who care."

When Foerst and the Nam Knights connected, the group's answer was simple: We will be there for Ian.

So after appearing at Bethlehem's veterans memorial ceremony on Veterans Day, the group headed to Emmaus. When Ian got off the bus at about 3:45 p.m., a group of about 15 bikers was waiting for him.

"It was just an awesome moment," Ian's mom said.

Slack said at first Ian didn't want to get off the bus. But when his mom and dad explained what was going on, Ian got off and was giving hugs to all the members, and walking around with them to look at the bikes, Slack said.

"It was a good day," Slack said.

Foerst posted the photos to the Facebook group, as well as on her own Facebook page, and she said the outpouring of support has been immense. The encouragement shows how much acceptance there is for special-needs kids, Foerst said.

"It's just amazing," Foerst said as she got emotional. "These bikers are just big teddy bears."

For the Nam Knights, the visit was one of the ways the club brings its brotherhood to the Lehigh Valley.

"We pride ourselves on being there for the community," Slack said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

This article was first published on November 20, 2015
Get a copy of lehighvalleylive or go to www.lehighvalleylive.com for more stories.

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