Dream to touch the sky: Motocross star dedicated to career through injuries, cancer

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DESTREHAN — Stone Edler has powered through treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, countless crashes and numerous broken bones.

With each ailment, the 21-year-old St. Charles Parish native rises to his feet, eager to return to the sport that has been his passion since he was 5 years old: Motocross.

Each year, Edler competes in tournaments around the nation, racing on a dirt bike down tracks fraught with inclines, jumps and curves.

Last week, Edler underwent a shoulder reconstruction surgery for an injury sustained in a July crash. Full recovery will take the better part of a year, but Edler has every intention of getting back on his bike.

His injury didn’t stop him from traveling last month to Germany to ride in the Supercross Chemnitz tournament.

“I do it because I love it,” Edler said. “With anyone who rides a dirt bike, there’s going to be a time when you get hurt.”

A 2012 crash is what ultimately led Edler to get a CAT scan revealing an 11.5 cm mass pressed against his windpipe.

Stone Edler, shown during competition, underwent a shoulder reconstruction surgery last week for an injury sustained in a July crash. Full recovery will take the better part of a year. (Photos submitted)

Soon after, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chemotherapy and the journey to remission meant Edler had to sit out the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., the largest amateur dirt bike race in the United States.

For Edler, it meant missing a chance to attract sponsors and propel his career to a professional level.

In 2013, he missed another shot at the race due to a break in his right arm. However, the most memorable moment of his career came in 2014, when he returned to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and took home a first place national championship title while his family cheered him on.

A year and a half later, he reached professional status.

Edler said he knew from an early age that motocross was his future.

“I started riding when I was about 5, and I’ve been at the national level since 2006 or 2007, when I was 10 or 11,” Edler said. “Before that, it was mostly local.”

Stone Edler said anyone involved in motocross will sustain injuries at some point, and it’s a necessary risk to continue pursuing his passion. He urges others getting into the sport to never stop having fun.

Having a career in motocross means living near a track, Edler said. At age 16, he moved to Milsaps Training Facility in Cairo, Ga. He also lived in California prior to returning home to Destrehan to undergo surgery.

Tonya Bergeron, Edler’s mother, said her son’s most recent shoulder injury was potentially career ending, adding they consulted several doctors before finding one able to fix it.

“It’s not the best sport in the world for me,” Bergeron said, referencing the dangerous aspects of motocross.

Regardless, she knows motocross is her son’s passion, and is immensely proud of all he has overcome.

“I’d have to say I’m most proud of his dedication and not giving up,” Bergeron said. “I would have given up a long time ago. Even having cancer couldn’t keep him down.”

She first realized Edler would be a big deal in the motocross world after watching him compete in a junior supercross indoor area event in the New Orleans Superdome at age 7.

Edler said support from his family is great, and he is enjoying a career most only dream of. His advice to others getting into motocross is never forget to have fun.