Mom of road-rage vic­tim seeks to help oth­ers

Michelle Rober­son set­ting up fund for Bianca & her son Mykel

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Bill Ret­tew bret­tew@dai­ly­lo­cal.com

WEST CH­ESTER » Michelle Rober­son is giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity that gave her so much sup­port.

Rober­son lost her 18-year-old daugh­ter Bianca back on June 28 when she was fa­tally shot in a case of road-rage on Route 100 back on June 28.

In mem­ory of Bianca as well as her late son, 22-yearold Mykel James Row­ley, Michelle has teamed with the Ch­ester County Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion to es­tab­lish a char­i­ta­ble grant fund.

Rober­son lost her only two chil­dren in less than four years. She wants to make sure that they will be re­mem­bered and hon­ored, and in their mem­ory, the com­mu­nity will ben­e­fit.

Schol­ar­ship funds also have been es­tab­lished through West Ch­ester Area School District and Jack­sonville Univer­sity. Bianca was a June grad­u­ate of Rustin High School. She was sched­uled to start as a fresh­man in Au­gust at Jack­sonville Univer­sity.

Also planned by Rober­son are sev­eral fundrais­ers, in­clud­ing a fall 2017 Walk/ Run and a “Pur­ple Gala” sched­uled for June 2018 to mark Bianca’s death and her fa­vorite color.

“It helps me have a pur­pose,” Rober­son said. “I’m able to give back and help other fam­i­lies deal­ing with aw­ful tragedies, whether it’s from gun vi­o­lence, dis­eases or hate crimes.”

Bianca was killed by a sin­gle bul­let dur­ing a road rage in­ci­dent on Route 100 in West Goshen Town­ship, po­lice say. A na­tion­wide man­hunt led to David Des­per, of Trainer, Delaware County, who turned him­self in to face charges a cou­ple of days af­ter the shoot­ing.

Karen Sim­mons is the pres­i­dent/CEO of Ch­ester County Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion and is head­ing up ef­forts to es­tab­lish the grant pro­gram.

“You want to call it a traf­fic ac­ci­dent but it’s a hate crime,” Sim­mons said. “It feels like some peo­ple want to hide the truth and call it a traf­fic ac­ci­dent.”

Rober­son said she raised two “good kids.”

“They had good lives,” she said. “I gave them the best lives I could.”

Her son Mykel lived with Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy and worked as a trac­tor-trailer driver. He fol­lowed in his fa­ther’s foot­steps as a trucker. Bianca had dreamed of be­com­ing an FBI agent.

Rober­son noted that both died in ve­hi­cles. Row­ley had a mas­sive heart at­tack while be­hind the wheel.

“Bianca was so ex­cited about go­ing to school,” Rober­son said. “She couldn’t wait. It was a life­long dream.”

Row­ley was a trucker for about a year.

“Mykel had a chance to live out some of his dreams. He did get to do what he wanted to do.”

“I have to stop mak­ing sense out of some­thing that doesn’t make sense,” Rober­son said. “There is no jus­tice, no good rea­son.”

Rober­son will meet with other griev­ing moth­ers.

“For women just like us – to en­cour­age each other,” she said about sim­ple con­ver­sa­tion with moth­ers faced with a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion. “I’m go­ing to rise for Bianca and con­tinue to help other moth­ers.

“There’s no greater pain than los­ing a child.” The loss is huge. “I’m never go­ing to be called mom again,” she said. “I’ll never have the op­por­tu­nity to be mother of the bride or mother of the groom.”

The re­sponse from the com­mu­nity was over­whelm­ing.

“The out­pour­ing was awe­some and from peo­ple I didn’t even know,” Rober­son said. “Say­ing thank you isn’t strong enough.

“The out­pour­ing of love and car­ing and sup­port touched a lot of peo­ple’s hearts.”

To sup­port the Rober­son/Row­ley Foun­da­tion hon­or­ing Bianca and Mykel, checks can be sent to CCCF, 28 W. Mar­ket St., West Ch­ester PA 19382, or call 610-696-8211.

For the West Ch­ester Area School District Bianca Rober­son Schol­ar­ship Fund, write to Dr. Mike Marano at Rustin High School, 1100 Shiloh Road, West Ch­ester PA 19382

For the Jack­sonville Univer­sity Bianca Rober­son Schol­ar­ship Fund write to Kimberly Jones, 2800 Univer­sity Blvd., North Jack­sonville, FL 32211

BILL RET­TEW JR. – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Michelle Rober­son was in­spired by her chil­dren Bianca Rober­son and Mykel James Row­ley. Since their pass­ing, she es­tab­lished a grant pro­gram as a way to cel­e­brate their lives and dreams.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Bianca Rober­son with her brother, Mykel James Row­ley. Their mother, Michelle Rober­son, is keep­ing their mem­o­ries alive through schol­ar­ship funds.

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