For anyone that doesn't know me, my name is Billy and I was in a motocross accident about a year and a half ago. I was test riding dirtbikes at a motocross track near Rochester, MN. The last bike I was going to ride that day turned into the last bike I might ever ride. I got a little squirrely off a jump and washed out when I landed. Another rider was following close behind and wasn't able to get out of the way. He smashed into me and broke my spine, severing my spinal cord and almost rupturing my aorta. I was airlifted to the world famous Mayo Clinic where doctors were able to perform the surgery that would save my life. I am so grateful I didn't die that day, but the accident left me paralyzed from the chest down. Ever since that day I have been working as hard as I can to recover.
Recently I learned of a new therapy at a place called Project Walk. The therapy involves heavy activity using my lower body. The idea is to get me trying to use my legs while therapists complete the movements for me, potentially activating circuits in my nervous system that are lying dormant. When these circuits are activated repeatedly through this therapy they have the potential to regenerate neuronal connections. Of course this isn't guaranteed to work. It is actually a long shot. However, if I don't start doing it right away my chances of recovery will disappear. The potential for this to work drops off exponentially over time. That is why it is so important for me to start doing this as soon as possible. Try to imagine sitting in a chair for an entire year without moving. Even someone who has strong legs, such as a biker or marathon runner, would lose their ability to function. I have to keep moving. If I stop now, I may not get the chance to recover later, as new research and technology develop. Luckily there are other benefits to this therapy, even if recovery doesn't happen. The intense exercise causes many improvements in bodily function. Blood pressure improves, bone density improves, and overall strength increases. This therapy would definitely improve my quality of life. The problem is that it is extremely expensive. I will go broke in a matter of weeks if I have to pay for it myself. That is why I am asking for your help. If I can hit my $5000 goal I will be able to pay for this therapy for an entire year. That would be huge for me. It may be exactly what I need to continue this journey to recovery, and there is one more added bonus to helping me reach my goal. As I go through this process of recvoery, I will be documenting the whole thing through video. Filmmaking has become my biggest passion since my accident, and I plan to produce a documentary about spinal cord injury. This would help me reach that goal as well. I truly appreciate any help. Normally I wouldn't ask for anything, but I truly believe in this therapy.
- Megan Lindenfelser
- Jake Friedrich
- Linda Jensen-Hansen
- Robert Smith
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