Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Blog!

Well summer has passed us by and I swear I think Ol' Man Winter is right around the corner of my house! I used to never be cold, sucks to get old!!

Racing is starting to wind down, at least the type I like...outdoors! This weekend is a big weekend up at Crossroads MX. Saturday they have a scheduled Stateline Summer Series race going on, followed by a D17 points race on Sunday. I just watched the weather and it looks like rain Tuesday, the some more Thursday and Friday, so hopefully Ray & Nadine can get in their rider appreciation festivities as well.

Another cool thing going on is the FCA Invitational Day of Riding at Echo Valley MX in Poole, KY.

This is being held from 10 am to 4 pm, with an hour break for lunch, devotional and questions & answers with some of the FCA Motocross team. I believe this is $15 for the whole day and will benefit a very good group!

Also saw this awesome news on Justin Weeks' website over the weekend...

Updates on Justin Weeks

UPDATE 10/25/09
I have very exciting news to share with everyone about Justin’s progress. It has been well anticipated over the weekend as word leaked out about his newest success, but before I describe exactly what happened I’d like to put something in perspective.

At this very moment 88,796 people have visited Justin’s website since the accident. That is an astonishing number and it continues to grow with every update. We have received donations from $5.00 to $2,000 from people and its amazing how much everyone has donated. I’d like to throw this idea out there hoping it might catch on. If everyone was to donate 1.00 every time they visited the site, we would have 88,795 dollars to give to the Weeks family. I'm sad to say that our numbers don’t come close. I would like to post the number of how much money we have raised but for the privacy of the Weeks family I would like to keep it private. I would just like to throw that perspective out there and see what happens.

This Thursday around 10:30 I was sitting in my class at school when I got a video message from Justin on my cell phone and it was a video of him moving his toes up and down. At first I was in disbelief, and thought it was a muscle spasm so I texted back asking “Are you doing that? Is that you controlling your foot?” a couple of seconds went by and then I got the text saying “ YESSSSSSSSSS Yes I did, OMG I can move my foot Maria!”

Justin was able to move his toes on the Left side up and down and he was able to have control over them. He was able to move them up when his dad told him to move them up, and down when he was told to move them down. Justin described the FEELING part of the toes as a “strong tingling sensation” so he cannot actually feel just yet, but he is able to control his toes and move them back and forth.
Then after his morning stretches (and his exciting toe movement) his family had an appointment with SCI Step an out-patient rehabilitation program for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Justin checked the place out and was talking to one of the therapists and showed off his toe movement. Within their three hour visit of talking and testing out what would be right for Justin, SCI was able to get Justin’s ankle and foot moving. Justin was able to rotate his foot in a small circular motion, and also move his whole foot up and down. Also when Justin is in his chair, he can get his whole leg swinging by practicing his foot movement. This is all on the left side, and nothing had come about his right side, all taking place on Thursday (10/22)

I arrived at Justin’s house late Thursday night and was shocked at his movement. We got ready for bed and woke up Friday morning to take his medication and to start the stretches at 9:00 sharp. Justin was able to move his foot still and his dad continued to do the same stretches he did the day before. I helped out by holding one leg, while his dad held the other and we moved Justin’s legs in a running motion to switch it up a little bit. Then his dad continued to stretch him ...This is difficult to explain without having a visual example, but I will explain to the best I can. Justin was laying flat on his back with his legs straight in front of him. His dad bent his legs, so his knees were bent and right in front of him (his feet close to his butt) then spread his legs to stretch out the groin area. The weight alone would stretch the muscle. With a knee at both of his sides, waiting a while to stretch them out his dad asked Justin to bring his knees together. (At this point they are spread apart remember) With some struggle and gripping the sides of the bed, Justin gave everything he could and ... He was able to bring his knees together in front of him. A very strong left side, and a weaker right side, but in all they came together.

Now, hopefully that was not confusing to you, to clear it up he cannot bend his knees, in this stretch they are already bent because of the position he is in. Then his legs and knees are spread apart, and he was able to bring them to a close in front of him.

Justin was only able to do this a few times before he got tired quickly, then we worked on some abdominal stretches and left it at that for him to relax. He spent the whole day out of the house, and drove around town seeing some close friends and also making a visit to MotoXtremes. That night he had his first steak since the accident, and almost fell asleep at dinner because he was so exhausted from the day. He has not been this active in over a month.

Saturday morning’s stretches came and he was able to move his left foot again, and also bring his knees to a close in front of him, but this time his right site was in sync with his left and was almost equally strong. Again on Saturday he spent the entire day out of the house, and it wore him quickly. Saturday night I was taking care of his feet and I was rubbing the right foot (the one he has not been able to move) I was just toying around with his big toe, flicking it back and forth and asking him to move it if he could, or if he had any sensation. He kept saying no, and then all of a sudden a very very, very small flick of the RIGHT big toe moved. It moved almost four times after that then that was all he was able to do.

Sunday morning he was not able to move it so I am not sure what to make of that. These improvements are ... incredible I'm speechless. It’s hard not to get ahead of myself I hope there will be more to come, everyone’s prayers and thoughts must be getting heard because Justin is almost (this Tuesday) two months since the accident and this type of recovery doesn’t happen very often.

Justin’s family has not had time to really sit down and talk about what or how much Justin will need, and is not asking for anything. Lindsey and I took it upon ourselves to raise money for Justin and his family. With this type of recovery so soon, I hope more can come but it is going to take lots of physical therapy that is going to cost a lot. It is not my position to talk about what kind of insurance the family has or what it covers all I can say or do is tell you all that Justin needs our help. The therapy is what is going to get him to walk again, and I'm just hoping and praying that things will start to come together like it did this weekend.

Justin goes into surgery Monday to remove a blood clot protector out of his body (I'm not sure what it is called) but it will take most of the day and he will be under again, hopefully not setting back his new discovery and improvements.
Justin’s ability to get around the house is somewhat limited but a machine was installed allowing him to go up the stairs and down the stairs and his transfers from the machine improve with every ride up and down. Also Justin was able to transfer from a Honda CRV to a wheelchair almost flawlessly, his arms are getting bigger each time I see him. Im not sure what to make of Justin’s new discovery and accomplishment, of course it is amazing and hard not to jump up and down, and cry with happiness but I hope more can come, and I strongly believe this would not have happen without Justin’s strong determination and all the support you have given him. The family is beside themselves, and I wish I could come up to everyone and thank them personally for all the hard work they have been doing for Justin.

We hope to have something at Mini O’s that will raise money for Justin, it will be the first national since the accident and Justin might make an appearance and go down for a couple of days considering what his therapy schedule is like and if he is able to. Thank you all for everything and being patient over the weekend to hear the news. I just really hope we can get Justin into a good therapy place where he can regain more movement and hopefully walk again. I know it will take time, but with everyone’s prayers its amazing what things can happen.

Thank you all so much for being there every step of the way, and I hope you continue to do so, I hope you all have a safe week and fun Halloween weekend.

Sounds promising!

I've been praying for Justin for several weeks, and this is probably a surprise to most of ya! I've never been a "religious" type person and was probably the biggest religion skeptic around. Recently, while my Mom was sick and dying of cancer, she asked me to start going to Church and I told her I would. I figured I'd go once and that'd be the end of it. Well I have missed 2 times since Sept. 1 and it hasn't killed me yet, or the Church hasn't fallen down either. Tanya Clark told me, "you might even like it" and I guess, I have!

Even "Mr. Doubting Thomas" here, wonders if, maybe, just my little mentions of Justin have helped the young man along.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back in the blog of things!

Where to start?

I'll be honest with ya, the last three months have been pretty hard on this old boy. On July 9th my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time in the last 10 years. On September 1st she passed away, surrounded by family and friends in a hospital bed in Evansville.

Motocross is one of the true loves of my life. I started riding mini bikes when I was about 8 or 9 years old and progressed all the way into racing motocross until the early 80's. The whole entire time, I was never told by Dad or Mom, no. "It's dangerous, you'll get hurt" were never words spoken around our house. It was usually, "don't kill your self" and "be careful", but have fun!

Dad worked for the Southern Railroad and was gone a lot of the times, but Mom was always there for us. If she knew half of the stuff we did as kids in the stripper pits riding and climbing hills, that would have probably been worse than any of her bouts with cancer! Cliff diving in our spare time and then I have to wonder where Kody gets some of his ideas like this!

I always kidded my Mom about her transformation from Mom to a Grand Ma. I never was told no, but Kody on the other hand was a different story. I wonder if the dangers are different or separate from kids to grand kids...

Cancer is a devastatingly awful disease. Most people only get one shot at it, Mom was two and one against cancer. Two and one equals a pretty determined woman to me! Support breast cancer awareness!

Anyway, things are getting kind of, sort of back to normal and we even got to go Grand Prix down at the LA Dirtrider's Eby Motoplex. Good bunch of guys who have done a lot of work out there in the Warrick County reclaimed ground. I spoke with a couple members who expressed interest trying to run an event much like next weeks Paoli, IN Mammoth east event. All natural terrain, grass course with long lap times. May never happen, but it certainly is something for the guys to think about.

Here is a link to some pics from last Sunday's LA Dirtriders event. Also spent a lot of time around the campfire Saturday night sharing drinks, food and stories with some old and new friends.

I hope to get up to Paoli, at least for the Saturday night festivities and some old school moto on Sunday. Stop by and say hi!!!!