Corinna Pitney, left, is embraced by her friend Diane Ward outside the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s palliative care unit on Sunday afternoon. Friends organized a special tribute ride for Pitney, who is dying of cancer. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Dying motorcyclist from Coombs gets last-ride tribute

Friends grant Corinna Pitney’s wish ‘to hear bikes roar, to see leather and chrome’

As a woman dies of cancer, her friends want to ride with her till the end.

A special tribute ride for Corinna Pitney of Coombs took place Sunday on the mid Island, with motorcyclists on 37 bikes arriving this afternoon at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s palliative care unit.

Pitney, who turned 50 last week, is only expected to live a few more weeks, said her friend Diane Ward.

“So instead of doing a memorial ride after she’s passed, we decided to do it while she’s alive and come down and let her see all her friends before she passes,” Ward said.

Organizers of the ride respect that the hospital is a quiet zone, but received special permission, said Ward. Pitney had the chance to sit on her motorcycle and start it up.

“She said she wanted to hear bikes roar, she wanted to see leather and chrome before she passed away,” Ward said.

Those who were gathered took a knee and mimed shooting an arrow into the sky in hopes of a cure for cancer.

The motorcycle community is a brotherhood and sisterhood, Ward said, one that’s there for each other in instances like this, or if someone is in an accident, or if there’s a cause to support with a toy run or a show and shine.

“Anything to help,” Ward said, adding that Sunday’s ride was all about supporting Pitney. “She’s going to be missed. She’s going to be missed hugely.”

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