The past year has been challenging for Red Deer’s Cherie Trahan.
Her brother passed away in July followed by her husband in November and her 20-year-old daughter Alyssa, who is nonverbal and has autism, had surgery in February.
But Trahan is looking to find a light at the end of the tunnel by entering the Dream Chopper contest, where the winner will build a custom motorcycle with Paul Teutul Sr. from American Chopper.
“My daughter gets under-stimulated. She recently had a surgery and has been really cooped up with COVID. She hasn’t been able to swim or anything,” Trahan said.
“With a custom chopper, I could have a trike, a side-by-side or a place for her on the back. When I applied for the contest, I informed them of my daughter’s special needs and we qualified.”
Trahan said her daughter loves riding in open-air vehicles, like motorcycles.
“Every time we go to a function and someone has a side-by-side or a golf cart, my daughter wants to go and never wants to get out. I just thought it would be absolutely wonderful,” she said.
“I personally have always wanted a motorcycle, but because of our daughter’s special needs, it just wasn’t in the cards for us to get something that can accommodate her. Financially, there just wasn’t a way.”
Trahan was born and raised in Ponoka. She spent 11 years living in British Columbia, before returning to Alberta in 1998 – she has been in Red Deer since 2006.
For many years, Trahan was a stay-at-home mother, but about six years ago her husband’s job was impacted by the struggling oil industry. She then started a business selling garlic dip – Herbmasterz Garlic – but that was put on hold after the deaths of her brother and husband.
She aims to get her business rolling again in the near future, she said.
Trahan added she’s a big fan of Paul Teutul Sr. and American Chopper.
“Since my husband has passed I haven’t watched TV because I don’t have the time for myself. But I am a fan of Paul – he’s got a family-built business around custom choppers. It’s pretty cool,” she said.
The mother and daughter’s first destination would be British Columbia if they win the Dream Chopper contest: “It’d be cool to win the contest and my daughter would be so excited.”
Trahan is currently in the quarter-finals. Voting to determine the semi-finalists ends this Thursday. To vote for Trahan, visit dreamchopper.com/2021/cherie-trahan.