September 2, 2008 – BMX Racing has many outstanding qualities — one of which has to be the ability of the sport to bring people together from all walks of life. In fact, the word ‘family’ is often used when we talk about the people we have met through BMX Racing.
And when we are part of such a large family, there are often times when one family member needs another; needs their support; needs their help; needs their shoulders to lean on; and mostly just needs to know that the rest of the ‘family’ is there for them.
15-year-old Intermediate racer Sterling Evans, son of Andy “Popeye” and Virginia is the sort of kid that is always willing to help out, whether it is with Riders Ready, track rebuild, beginners clinic etc, usually alongside his dad. Sterling and his family have recently received some news that will affect the rest of his life, and now they need our help.
Sterling has been having problems with his fingers seizing up, severe headaches and pains in his neck. After many doctor’s visits, a MRI was finally done about 10 days ago. What showed on the MRI was a shock to the family. Sterling has a Neurenteric Cyst growing inside his spinal cord.
The easiest way to visualize this is to imagine a snake swallowing an egg – the egg stretches the snake to its maximum girth and also makes the outer membrane of the snakes skin very thin and unstable around the egg.
The cyst in Sterling’s neck is larger than a large grape, and the spinal cord is paper thin around it, with the nerves of the spinal cord being trapped inside the cyst. The slightest jerk of his neck could cause paralysis. There have only been 13 reported cases of this medical problem in the past 50 years.
Doctors at Sick Kids in Toronto have advised Sterling to sit as still as he can for the next 3 months (or longer) until they can determine their best cause of action — be it surgery, stabilization or whatever can be done. Needless to say the chore of keeping a very active 15 year old, that loves to ride his bike, still for any length of time is a tough one.
I am hoping to gain support from the BMX community in order to purchase a MacIntosh Laptop and Digital SLR camera for Sterling (as well as other items listed below). This will allow him to still be a part of the BMX family by coming to the races and taking pictures and posting them on a to be named website (graciously being hosted and donated by Gary Walsh). I am looking for any product donations that I can set up on Ebay and start to raise money to purchase these items. If you have any friends that can help by donating anything, please contact me directly.
Other items on my wish list:
– Web designer to help Sterling design the website he will be hosting
– Voice Recognition Software, as Sterling is having problems with some of his fingers when typing, and this will reduce any stress on his arms and neck.
– Microphone and headset so he can use Voice Recognition Software.
– Desk, bookcase, lamps, chair — we are going to set up Sterling a home office in a spare bedroom at his home, but need to furnish it for him.
– Recumbent stationery bike — so he can still get his exercise in a relaxed position without putting any unnecessary strain on his neck
Items Already Donated
– Website hosting and domain registration – Gary Walsh, Decision Labs
– Proceeds from photo sales from Kingston ERA Race and Saugeen Finals – Samsnaps, Sue Morrow and Mark Markus
– Proceeds from Rider Clinic on Friday September 12 in Saugeen – Brendan Arnold and Chris DaSilva
We are Family! We can work together to help Sterling.
Email email@example.com directly for more information or to make a product or monetary donation. Online donation page will be available on Wednesday September 3 – www.ontariocycling.org