Not too long ago we saw a video, which we shared with all of you on social media. The video showed a courageous young man stepping on a skateboard for the first time since he had awaken from a coma. The video became , for us, the quintessential example of what it means to be both a human being and a skateboarder.
The young man's name is Matt Hankey and what he shared with the rest of the world in that 23 second video was his determination to overcome the obstacle set before him.
Here is an excerpt of his story as written on the Sara's Garden Website (Sara's Garden is the only facility in the U.S. to provide a wide range of services to children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure disorders and traumatic brain injuries among other needs).
"As most of you are aware, on April 6, 2012 I suffered a stroke as a result of an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) that ruptured in my brain. I was only 16 years old at the time. AVMs are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. They are comprised of snarled tangles of arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the body’s cells; veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and heart. The presence of an AVM disrupts this vital cyclical process.
The only reason the surgeons performed emergency surgery on me was because of my young age. If I had been much older they said they would not have even attempted it as I would not have survived surgery. I was stabilized and in a coma for six weeks. Doctors informed my parents that even if I ever woke up they should be prepared to put me in a nursing home for the rest of my life as I would be brain dead and they would never have their same kid back.
I beat the odds and did wake up but have been in and out of rehab facilities ever since. Each time we are not given any hope from the therapists that I will ever be able to recover. I have no independence and am confined to a wheelchair with no use of my left side. My parents take care of me for almost everything. I love social situations and being around other people but my attention span, cognition and memory were all affected by the stroke. I am so tired of living this way and want desperately to be able to regain my independence."
We strongly encourage you to continue reading his story on the Sara's Garden website. There is also a link to make a donation.
There really are few words which can describe the courageousness and strength of Matt, he represents not only those who have had to deal with life altering events, but also the human spirit itself, that which lives in us all.
Jeff Grosso, in a recent interview, stated, and we're paraphrasing, "I don't know what I would do if I couldn't skateboard anymore, forget about the ramp, I'm talking about just rolling down the street to the corner store." and for all of us skaters, we can not only fully understand this sentiment, but also, find it difficult to even imagine what we would do if we could not simply walk to the corner store...Matt is struggling for this, fighting day in and day out to achieve, not only walking, but riding once again. We here at Positive Charge decided we had to help as much as possible and the best way to do that is to help raise awareness for him as well as funds for his therapy.
For the next month, a portion of ALL board sales will go towards Matt Hankey's therapy costs! And remember, if you're not in the market for a board you can always share the youtube video below or the Sara's Garden page telling Matt's story, as well as make a donation directly while keeping up with Matt's recovery by liking the Hope for Hankey Campaign page on Facebook and following on Instagram.
Please help spread the word for this outstanding young dude because by helping him obtain his dream, and though he is already a hero, he will continue to be a shining example to others in his situation who may feel alone and helpless and that is one of the largest obstacles to overcome on the way to recovery.