200 bikes attend rally to support autistic teen

Maxwell Begley, 13, is pictured at his Oshawa home

Credits: Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency


TORONTO - The autistic teen who was the focus of a nasty, hateful letter got quite the thrill Friday night.

Maxwell Begley was made an honourary member of the Clarington, Ont., chapter of the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers.

Members of the organization as well as other motorcycle enthusiasts cruised from a Tim Hortons in Clarington to Begley's grandmother's house a few kilometres away.

Rob Cochrane, who heads up the Clarington chapter, CMC 094, which was started in January, said he was stunned how big the event became.

"It started off with a few of our members, I thought it was going to be 10-30 bikes and this thing has just totally taken off," Cochrane said. "We're getting support on our Facebook page from all over the world."

About 200 bikes took part in the rally.

Cochrane decided to act after reading the QMI Agency story about the nasty letter a neighbour sent to Maxwell's grandmother, Brenda Millson, saying the 13-year-old should be "euthanized," among other things.

And the entire chapter, one of 84 across the country, was eager to get involved, he said.

"We were completely disgusted just like everybody else that's seen it," Cochrane said. "It hit home because it's close to our neighbourhood, we have some members from our motorcycle club who have autistic children so I got in contact with the family."

Coincidentally, Maxwell loves motorcycles, so, even though the family was exhausted from the media attention, they were happy to let it proceed.

Cochrane joked that because of the distance, it would probably be the shortest rally he's ever taken part in, but he added that it also would have "the biggest impact of any I've been a part of."

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