Riders and rodders help ease family’s burden

Arell Clemons Jr.

By Mike Weland

Arell Clemons Jr. and Tina Lloyd
Arell Clemons Jr. and Tina Lloyd

Wednesday was special for a three-year-old Bonners Ferry boy and his family, coping with the very worst news any parent could ever have to face; “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do.”

Arell Clemons Jr. was born with a hole in a heart that sits in his chest in a different position than what is normal, causing blood to flow at an abnormal rate into his lungs. Three months before he was born, doctors diagnosed him with this rare condition and three days after he was born he underwent his first of many surgeries.

Just a few days ago, Arell and his family received news from doctors that there is nothing more that western medicine is able to do for him. The family made the heart-rending decision to take Arell off life support.

Learning of the terrible news, members of the Bonners Ferry Rod Benders Car Club pulled out all the stops and called for car and motorcycle enthusiasts from around the region to rally for the toddler, a youngster with an affinity for things on two or four wheels that were shiny, loud and went fast.

Arell nor his family were disappointed when around 35 motorcycles and 20 classic cars paraded in front of Arell’s home on Augusta Street, many stopping, filling a tote full to the brim with toys and stuffies, presenting Arell’s dad, Arell Sr., a helmet stuffed with cash.

“Thank you to everybody that came out and showed love and support for my little boy and my family,” Arell Sr. wrote. “I greatly appreciate everybody and everything this wonderful community has done … and a special thank you to everyone that helped put this together on such a short notice. Junior really enjoyed himself and so did I.”