The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 9, 2013

Injured Motocross rider striving to attend Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Facility in Calif.

By Cody Neff
Register-Herald Reporter

— After a life-changing accident, a Beckley man says he decided not    to give up on his dreams. He says he just hopes someone can help him get back on his feet.

Derrick Bonds, 18, says his dream was to become a professional motocross rider.

“I was four months away from racing in the pro class,” Bonds said on his HelpHOPELive donation page. “On July 24, 2011, I was racing at Mountaineer Motocross Park when I had a life-changing accident, leaving me paralyzed from the chest down.

“In March of 2012, I strapped myself to the bike and rode for the first time since the accident. I’m determined to get back on my feet and get back to racing like I was before the accident.”

Bonds says therapy in West Virginia hasn’t helped him get out of his wheelchair.

“They have helped me live in the chair and I want out of it,” he said on his donation page. “I need some help to send me to Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Facility in Carlsbad, Calif., to help me walk again. The cost of the trip is estimated at around $10,000 for 30 to 60 days. This includes air fair, motel stay, food, transportation to and from the facility, as well as any other expenses that I might have.”

To help with those costs, a fund-raising campaign was set up in Bonds’ honor with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that says it has been helping the transplant community for nearly 30 years. In 2000, it expanded its mission to include those who have gone through a catastrophic injury.

According to a brochure from HelpHOPELive, after a client connects with the group, they have to submit an application to confirm medical and financial need. After that, fundraiser events are organized, flyers are made and the media is contacted.

Once the group creates a donation page for the client, the client waits for the goal to be met. The group says all donations are tax-deductible. The client has to submit a “Fund Request Form” that will help pay for medically-related expenses. Those expenses are paid weekly.

For more information about Derrick Bonds, or to make a donation, visit m.helphopelive.org/donate/donate2/4277 or call Kathy Davis at 304-890-0120.

“I want to personally thank everyone that has supported me over the past few years,” Bonds said on his donation page. “It means the absolute world to me.”

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com