LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- A Lafayette family is facing the reality of losing a husband and father, but they're not having to get through it alone. On Sunday, nearly 170 motorcyclists came together for a fundraiser-ride to benefit the Martin family.
"Jacob would be smiling from ear to ear, he loves riding Harley's and this would mean the world to him, and it means the world to us that people are here for him," said Ashley Martin, wife of Jacob Martin.
Jake Martin was a newly-wed husband, a new father, and a recent victim of a rare, aggressive cancer that started in his lungs then spread to his bones and lymph nodes. He started feeling sick in January then was diagnosed with cancer in March. For months, he's been fighting to survive.
"It was something we never expected, he was diagnosed five weeks before I was due with Zeplyn," said Ashley.
Ashley and their baby Zeplyn have been by Jake's side since he started chemotherapy. This benefit-ride was designed to financially help the family as he overcame his cancer, unfortunately, he died just days before the event.
"It was really hard," said Ashley. "It's been a really hard seven months and we miss him a lot."
This motorcycle benefit-fundraiser has also become a celebration of life. Ashley and her family are overwhelmed by the support.
"I was just praying that it would be a great day and it's been more than great, it's been phenomenal," said Rebecca Kyle, Ashley's mother. "They've just had overwhelming love from the community and family and just everyone reaching out to them, it's just made such an impact."
The money raised will help Ashley and Zeplyn stay afloat as they adjust to a new life with Jake now living in their hearts and memories.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate everything that everyone's doing and this is just incredible, it's amazing to see and I know Jacob's looking down, smiling right now," said Ashley.
Today's motorcycle-benefit event also included raffles and food. The total amount made today will be added to our website once organizers take a final count.
If you'd like to support the Martin family, you can do so by clicking here. You can also buy a Jake Martin Benefit Ride T-shirt by emailing Sally Curwick who organized the benefit ride at email@example.com. Venmo: Jakemartinride
This story will be updated.