Sam’s Going Home Soon!

December 2, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Sam Willoughby is Going Home Soon

All-around the building, for all the days of Grands weekend, BMXers from around the world were thinking of the one hero who wasn’t able to join us. Sam Willoughby was busy in Colorado, working hard on his recovery routine, impressing-the-heck out of the staff with his commitment to doing the hard work that will soon clear him to move into the next phase: Going home to San Diego.

Yesterday, Alise wrote a comprehensive update on how things are going for Sam at Craig Hospital, including some very good news about the next phase of his recovery plan. Here is that statement, complete with a video of Sam, digging-deep to finish off his time at Craig like the champion he is.

After 70 days of eating, sleeping, breathing rehabilitation here at Craig, our official inpatient stay is coming to a close! This means that Sam is considered medically stable enough for he, his mum and I to move out of this hospital room and transition towards home life by moving into the outpatient program here in Denver.

We plan to stay here for December and have a jam packed “work schedule” utilizing the world class facilities available to us here at Craig. This seems to be the perfect transition allowing us to stay close to the hospital while living on our own without the haunting “quick set of vitals” phrase!!!

It will also allow time to get all of his equipment and our home more prepared for home therapy and everyday life…this has been a continual process behind the scenes to get organized.

Sam and all of us are really looking forward to freedom to use all of the crazy technologies and work with many motivated therapists through the PEAK center here before transitioning to that next step home. As successful as his inpatient stay has been, the opportunity to direct his own care and focus more on his personal goals is what Sam is ready for!

Throughout the past month Sam has managed to stay fit and even put a bit of muscle back on. A big part of this in his legs would have to be the increased amount of stimulation through the FES bike (video shown), pool workouts, and more time upright in harnesses on the Erigo (boxing machine in an earlier post) and vibration plate.

We’re hoping that all of this stimulation work will aid in his bodies’ “message sending” process. Some other exciting news is how stable Sam has gotten at getting on all fours and balancing. He is even able to use a swiss ball and some spotting to get on his knees which is pretty cool. All of the work on his tummy, posture and balance is definitely indicating a bit better core activation which is super exciting this early on in the game for someone with an injury like Sam’s.

His hands continue to improve in function, he increases his weights or reps almost daily with his dumbbell, cable and med ball work which means his grip and upper body are only getting stronger! We are all super proud of Sam and can’t wait to continue this journey with him.

We need to extend a huge thank you to his entire inpatient team here at Craig as they have taken our ideas on board and done their best to accommodate Sam’s goals amidst ticking all of the boxes to get him “medically functional” to get out of the hospital.

We had our discharge meeting yesterday and every single one of the team members said they had never worked with a more motivated individual that forced them to use all of their resources and push the limits for not only Sam, but all of the future patients that come through Craig Hospital.

Thank you to everyone who has helped keep Sam’s spirits up so that motivation never lagged, every positive energy sent our way has played a role and will continue to help him as he turns the page to the next chapter in his road to recovery.

Having just went to Tulsa, OK over Thanksgiving for our year-end finale of the USA BMX series, I’ve experienced first hand how strong and genuine the support for Sam truly is, and we can’t thank you enough for that.

I know I fed on all of those good vibes myself and was somewhat surprised with a great performance in Tulsa winning both days of racing and taking my fifth women’s pro championship title, and 9th overall prestigious USA BMX silver cup.

Alise Post Accepting the Golden Crank Award for Sam WilloughbyNone of those feats compared to the feeling of accepting Sam’s “Pro of the Year” award amidst the loudest cheers of the weekend though, so thanks for letting him hear you all the way in Denver!

We even got a few visits from our closest friends on their drive back west which is much appreciated and we thank them for taking the time to stop by.

Checking in on Sam’s Road2Recovery fund today, the BMX community is in the proverbial last-turn of the first round-win. With $191,000 of the $200,000 goal on the board, each contribution is another crank-stroke toward the finish line, so check the link below, and let’s do this!

—Mike Carruth


Sam Willoughby’s Page

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SW91 Challenge: You DID It!

November 9, 2016 by · Comments Off 

91 Challenge a BIG Success
Thousands of BMX News readers visited the article and listened to the Tyler Brown podcast we posted on November 4. Some of you jumped in to the “SW91 Challenge” auction or Chula Vista event, to participate, along with BMXers from around the world, to cap-off the three-event challenge, and raise an incredible sum of money for Sam Willoughby’s Road2Recovery fund.

All-told, the three-event series raised $48,295 for the fund—which is incredible, in-and-of-itself. BUT, the golden moment of Saturday’s event was when it became apparent that the fundraising efforts topped $30,000.

That moment triggered the “funds-matching challenge” offered by an anonymous donor, who pledged $30,000 in matching funds, during the month of November. WOW! What a moment that was. Suddenly, $48,295 became $78,295!

Tyler breaks it down for us:

Bellflower BMX
This was the kick off of the SW91 Challenge events. It was great to see the support from everyone right from the beginning. They had a ton of pros, and riders for their clinic, and lots of riders hanging out racing! Bellflower was able to raise $5,500 in their awesome efforts!

Worldwide Online Auction
The auction kicked off Saturday night after Bellflower. We had memorabilia from the world’s top BMX riders, Motocross superstars, country music stars, old school stuff…you name it, we had it! The worldwide auction brought in right around $27,000 in total!

Chula Vista BMX
Last, but not least, Chula Vista BMX is Sam’s home track. He is always there to lend a helping hand when needed, now this weekend it was our turn to help him out. We started off with a killer Pro clinic, followed by circus games in the parking lot while things on the BMX track were going off.

The pros hung around all day to sign autographs and for sure a highlight was the Pros racing on the kids “Fatboy” bikes! Talking about the pros, no one can forget the “pie the pro in the face” auction where highest bidder throws a pie in their favorite pro’s face ha-ha!

Editor’s Note: Pause a second, click the link below for a big ol’ belly-laugh (will open a new window)
Pie-a-Pro Video

We also had a killer silent auction, raffle and, oh yeah, an awesome double points BMX Race. We brought in an additional $15,295 to add to the total!

As we noted up-top, the three efforts, taken together, brought in a total of $48,295 (additional funds came in after the event to round-out the total raised on-site). Add the matching funds into the mix, and Sam’s Road2Recovery fund is plus $78,295, which will-more-than-double the current tote-board-total of $66,000+ as soon as those funds hit.

BIG props to Tyler and Kassie from Chula Vista BMX, who managed the auction and Chula event; Tammy from Bellflower BMX; the anonymous donor of $30,000 in matching funds, and all BMXers who opened up their hearts and wallets to make this happen.

—Mike Carruth

If you missed the auction, there is still time to donate to the fund, at the link below.


Sam Willoughby’s Page

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Big Sam Willoughby Update

November 2, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Major Sam Willoughby Update 11-02-16

Lots of great happenings in Sam Willoughby’s ongoing push toward recovery, and also his fundraising cause. Sam is feeling the support of tens of thousands of BMXers from around the world, and is moving from day to day smiling and working hard to progress his rehab in Colorado, surrounded by family Read more