On July 17, 2021, Annijke Wade was in Angel Fire, New Mexico doing what she loves the most in the world: mountain biking—when her life changed forever. Although Annijke is an expert rider and was on a trail she had ridden more than sixty times, she lost control of the bike and remembers waking up with no feeling below her chest. She had broken her T6-T7 vertebrae, almost completely severing her spinal cord. She also sustained an orbital fracture, nose fracture, and broken fingers. Annijke is an incredibly resilient, brave, and positive person, but she needs our help to make it through this challenge. We are raising money to help with the medical costs associated with this tragic and painful injury.
Immediately following the injury, Annijke was taken into care by the Angel Fire Bike Patrol and transferred to the Taos Hospital, then ultimately flown to the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque where she underwent surgery to fuse her T3-T9 vertebra. Getting through the initial experience at the ICU is one thing, but there is a long road of recovery ahead for Annijke. Most immediately, we need to raise the funds to transport Annijke to the Craig Hospital in Denver, a world class institute focusing on helping people with spinal cord injuries. We need to raise $100,000 to help Annijke on her road to recovery, including transporting her to the Craig Hospital where she can get the care and support she needs.
Annijke is a passionate leader in the bike community, known for her infectious enthusiasm for mountain biking and for building community. She only started mountain biking a few years ago, but in that short time she has made an immense impact not only in the realm of women’s biking, but specifically in the work of equitable inclusion. She recently organized the first bike event specifically for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color at Angel Fire. Annijke had recently received her PMBIA Level 1 certification as a mountain bike instructor, and also interested in gaining certification to become an adaptive coach as well. Annijke strives to make biking a more inclusive space for belonging for everyone. While we know Annijke will continue to be an inspiration for all of us, we are coming together during this tough time to help with the exorbitant financial costs associated with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).
photo credit: Jerry Bruce
There are many ‘hidden’ costs associated with an SCI. We are specifically raising money to help her family with the transition from the ICU to a specialist treatment center and then for the additional expenses that are anticipated with an SCI.
The average cost of a first year of a paraplegic injury is over $500,000, with an additional $67,000 of additional yearly expenses every year. From minor and major home modifications to modified vehicles and rehabilitation (physical and occupational), as well as medication, and psychological support—the expenses are astronomical. And that does not include lost wages and regular day-to-day living expenses for her and her immediate family during this difficult time.
We need to raise $100,000 to help Annijke on her road to recovery to support her time at the Craig Hospital in Denver.