High hopes after stem cell therapy
BLAKE Colleton has had to face one of the greatest challenges an 18-year-old could imagine.
One year ago, the Murwillumbah resident was injured in an accident at the Motocross Nationals in Victoria.
But now he's looking ahead towards his next challenge.
Soon, Mr Colleton expects to receive a new hand-cycle, funded by Murwillumbah Lions Club and Tweed Community Options.
While he has been practicing on another hand-cycle lent to him by his physio studio, he has been hitting the gym regularly to stay as fit as he can.
Mr Colleton, who lost all function below the waist after his accident, underwent $50,000 stem cell therapy in Panama City in January, and has high hopes about the possibilities.
"I have seen little changes, but they say it takes up to 12 months until things stop developing," Mr Colleton said.
"It's still pretty early for things to be happening a lot.
"It was definitely worth going over there."
He said the doctors recommended staying fit and healthy to maximise the potential benefits of the treatment.
"I was a bit worried I wouldn't get anything at all out of it," he said.
"Some people do not get a thing out of it.
"Hopefully I will keep progressing."
Mr Colleton said a second round of the treatment after six months could be on the cards.
He said he was overwhelmed by the support of the community since his accident.
"I would do the exact same thing for anyone else in the motocross community," he said.
"It's just one big happy family.
"I was very thankful they all helped out as much as they could."
Mr Colleton said he was about four when he first got on a bike, and started racing at six. Now, he's looking to race on the hand-cycle.
"I'll be training on it nearly every day and then racing it hopefully at the end of this year," he said.
Mr Colleton's mum Karen said he had been feeling extremely positive about the possibilities since the treatment.
"Blake has been pretty amazing through everything," Ms Colleton said.
"He's a remarkable young man."