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Support LOFI's Recovery from Spinal Injury

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On June 18th, 2024 at approximately 2am, LOFI suffered a life-altering accident as the result of falling off a building whilst her and CAMEL attempted to reach a high-profile spot in Oakland, CA. Shattering her spine and coming very close to paralysis, she has undergone emergency surgery to save the movement in the majority of her body. We are raising funds in an effort to help her during this time period. 

The following is the story from CAMEL BTM APK:

“For those who may not know, LOFI is a female graffiti writer who has been out here painting the Bay Area for some years now. She has a unique approach to graffiti that is not often seen, especially in Oakland where you have a lot of graffiti that looks exactly the same.

We met about a year ago in San Francisco, California. Our styles, willingness to climb and the way we paint meshed well together. I think I paint with her more than any other person. She has an adventurous spirit in terms of graffiti, always down to keep going until the sun comes up or starting a ridiculous spot at like 6am. Being a female writer, she definitely goes harder than a lot of the dudes out here in terms of both the spots she’s getting and her style.

LOFI and I have climbed plenty of rooftops, scaled probably hundreds of buildings and painted a bunch of walkouts hundreds of feet off the ground. Honestly, i’m impressed with her ability to climb. I’m an avid climber in terms of my graffiti career and I gotta give her flowers because she has been able to do a good amount of dangerous spots with me. I can only speak for myself, but I think often times as writers who have this need to compulsively write on things and climb to dangerous heights to get the most brazen and unique spot, sometimes we overlook the dangers. When I climb spots where I could fall and die, it doesn’t really help me in the moment to think about that. It’s almost like a survival instinct. It allows me to keep going. Sometimes it’s easy to think we are invincible and nothing can happen to us. Because we’ve done it so many times, we’re solid in our ability, which for the most part is true. Depending on my mind state, sometimes I’m just like “Fuck it, if I die, I die. At least it will be doing what I love.” For me, the aspect of climbing in respect to graffiti is so important and therapeutic that I rely on it to get through life. I think that rings true for most people who are that dedicated to doing this shit. There’s obviously a reason behind it, right? 

There was this spot that we drove past in the daytime. This huge building in Jack London Square. I think it’s a power plant or something like that. This building has been crushed for years on the ground level. We were both staring at this building long enough to see that it has little divots going up the entire side of the building; small little finger holds every couple feet. Basically some rock climbing shit. “Why hasn’t anyone climbed up this shit and hit this huge ledge that is on the very top of the building? Freeway shot from 880.” That’s what we both said to each other. In the oversaturated graffiti playground that is Oakland, it’s getting more rare to find spots like that. We added it to the list and doubled back on it later that night. I’ve climbed buildings like this before, where there’s not much to hold onto. You have to use your fingertips to get up the whole way. I wasn’t sure LOFI had done that before so to test it out, I went first. As I neared the top, there was this last move to reach the ledge: I had to let go of everything and lunge for it. But I made it up. I looked down at the ground and told her “It’s kind of gnarly dude, just to let you know.”

I actually found a rope up there, tied it to the ladder and threw it off to the ground. That way she had an extra support of something to hold onto just in case. I looked down to the street and saw she hadn’t started climbing up yet. I told her if she wants, she can go get my rope bag and I can tie it up here. That way, she could just ascend up and avoid the climb all together. Before I can get a response, I see her start shimmying up here. She seems to be doing good and I’m not really worried because she’s a good climber and she’s with the shit, like I said. I see her getting closer. She’s maybe five or six feet away from reaching the top, a little ways out of arms reach from me. She started slowing down and says her hands are getting tired. I said “If you can’t reach the top start climbing down now, you got this shit, hold onto the rope and start climbing down quickly you’ll be fine.” I was unaware that her hands had completely seized / cramped up. She was unable to grab on anymore, even the rope. And I was just far enough away to not be able to grab her. Her hands came off the wall, and I watched in horror as she plummeted straight down onto the concrete. A solid 30 foot fall. My adrenaline kicked in and I got down that rooftop as fast as possible. She was still conscious, and there wasn’t any blood that I could see, but she was screaming in agonizing pain. I picked her up as gently as possible, carried her to the car and drove as fast as I could straight to the hospital.

One day later, this is what we are dealing with. Basically a shattered spine. Well, part of her spine. They call it an L1 unstable burst fracture. These things often result in some sort of permanent paralysis. In her case, it hasn’t. The bone fragments were dangerously close to creating damage to the spinal cord, causing paralysis. Which is why the doctors performed an emergency spinal fusion surgery to save the movement in the majority of her body. I’m just happy my friend is still with us. A fall from that height could have gone a whole lot differently. The surgery went well, but there is a long road of recovery ahead for LOFI. She is still recovering in the hospital. She will eventually need to be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital where she will have to relearn how to walk. The doctor told us this injury would most likely take a year to get back to “normal”. I know she can do it. But she needs your help. Her body will not allow her to work for the foreseeable future, as she is on bed rest. She is going to be adopting a bunch of unexpected costs. Medical bills, ongoing rent, food. Any help at all would be extremely appreciated. Hopefully we as a graffiti community can come together and help my friend out. This could happen to any one of us. It is part of the game and one of the risks we take. But we do it for the love of the game. 

As a very close friend, this is my effort to help raise funds for her during this difficult time. My hopes is that these funds will help her pay bills, allow her to focus on her health, support her on the road to recovery, and freedom from this life altering and debilitating injury.”

-CAMEL BTM APK
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  • Michael Thurman
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Organizer and beneficiary

Living Proof
Organizer
New York, NY
Mike Hawk
Beneficiary

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