Cheryl Stewart, a founding member of the Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club, was devastated when she lost a beloved biker “sister” to the coronavirus last month.
Now, she’s hitting the gas to prevent others from getting sick.
The 57-year-old Red Hook sculptor is delivering personal protective equipment on her Yamaha FZ1 to health care workers in the outer boroughs to help them avoid public transit and taxi rides.
“The lack of preparation and support for health care workers this far is unacceptable,” Stewart told The Post. “Doing this buffers my inchoate rage. I feel like I’m taking a little control of the situation, and making it better.”
In late March, she discovered her longtime friend Kim Wetzel fever-stricken and gravely ill at her apartment. Wetzel died soon after.
“We let ourselves in and she wasn’t doing well. She didn’t make it — she was gone the next day.” she said. “It was traumatic.”
Stewart had already done a few deliveries by then, but after Wetzel’s death — followed by another friend passing a few weeks later — she really “stepped it up.”
She volunteered to help the charity groups MaskForce and Masks for Midwives by picking up donated PPE at spots around the city, ranging from apartments to pharmacies.
She drops off the gear at the homes and workplaces of nurses, midwives and caregivers everywhere from Borough Park, Brooklyn to St. Albans, Queens — sometimes three times a day.
As the pandemic rages, motorcycles are a germ-safe and efficient way to get around the five boroughs because they are open-air and solo, unlike subways, buses and cars, Stewart said.
On her missions so far, Stewart has helped a nurse in desperate need of PPE, a caregiver for an elderly patient, and a midwife performing a home birth.
“It’s the least I can do when doctors and nurses are risking their lives everyday,” she said. “It’s really important for those of us who can help, to do it. If we can, we must.”
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