Mega-mercies

Jun 19, 2005 10:24 PM

 

Who says casinos don’t make dreams come true?

Las week, Arlene Keith, who is terminally ill with cancer, realized a lifelong dream when she was presented with her brand new Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle at a dealership in Southern California.

Keith had won the Harley and $309,213 on an IGT penny Megajackpot machine at a tribal casino in Oregon.

When Keith, who has been battling cancer for more than a decade, told IGT and Harley-Davidson that she had only days or weeks to live and wanted to ride her new bike before it was too late, the manufacturer rushed the Harley to the nearest dealership. Under ordinary circumstances, it could have taken up to three months to deliver the bike.

Keith won the jackpot while on a mother-daughter road trip through the Pacific Northwest, where she was saying farewell to family and friends.

"I have a lot of friends that ride, so I really want to get out on the road with them," Keith said. "Now that I have my new bike, all I have to do is learn to ride."

A single mother with a 16-year-old son, Keith was initially overwhelmed when she found out she had won the slot jackpot. She knew it meant she would be able to repay her mother who has spent much of her retirement savings helping Keith through her long battle with cancer.

"I have been blessed with so many angels in my life, from my mother and son, family and friends to professional acquaintances that provided financial support," Keith said. "I didn’t know that there are so many really good-hearted people out there, and it has been an amazing experience to see so much genuine generosity."

For their part, Harley officials said getting the bike to Keith was a no brainer.

"We’re just happy we could do something for Arlene," said Tom Loveland of the Anaheim-Fullerton Harley-Davidson dealership. "It’s not often when you get the opportunity to help someone as special as she is. We’re just happy to see the smile on her face as she talks about riding with all her friends."