Hot Tomato’s Galey tackles 24 hour BMX challenge to raise funds for Kai Sakakibara
UPDATE: It was no easy feat, but Galey pushed himself to the limit and successfully completed his Galey To The Rescue – 24-hour Ride for Kai BMX challenge.
The Hot Tomato radio announcer crossed the finish line to a chorus of cheers at 8am on Friday at the Nerang BMX track.
Donations poured in from the Gold Coast community throughout Galey’s ride, with close to $33,000 raised to help local BMX rider Kai Sakakibara with his rehabilitation.
Check out all the action in the video below:
EARLIER: While competing at the Bathurst World Cup in February, BMX rider Kai Sakakibara was involved in a major crash, leaving him with significant and life-altering injuries.
At the time, the 24-year-old Gold Coaster was one of Australia’s best BMX riders, and was in training to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Kai’s crash was so severe that he spent 6 weeks in Canberra ICU, before he was transferred to Liverpool Brain Injury Unit to begin rehabilitation.
Speaking to the 1029 Hot Tomato breakfast team this morning, Kai’s sister Saya Sakakibara said the family were not sure whether Kai was going to survive.
“The doctors told us it was a very severe, traumatic brain injury and was a very big bleed in the brain. At the time, after he had surgery, we really didn’t know if he was going to make it, and if he did, would be able to independent and would he able to talk to us,” she told Galey, Emily Jade & Christo.
“He has been working hard at the Liverpool Brain Injury Unit. He is starting to gain a lot more strength in his body as well as being a lot clearer with his communication as well.
“What his brain injury affected was the right side of his body. He has been working hard on that in physio and try and bring back some movement in his feet, his legs, his arm and his hand.
“He is so motivated and determined to keep going and to get back on the bike. He always says he really wants to get back to training on the Gold Coast.”
Kai joined his sister to chat with the Hot Tomato breakfast team about his recovery.
“My recovery is going quite well. I think I am doing pretty good,” he said.
Galey was so moved by Kai’s story, that he announced he is going to tackle a BMX challenge next week to raise funds to help bring Kai home to the Gold Coast, and to continue his rehabilitation.
Starting at 8am next Thursday, Galey will attempt to ride the Nerang BMX track for 24 hours straight to encourage locals to donate.
“When it comes to helping people, the Gold Coast always stands up. We have a young person that needs our help,” Galey told myGC.
“Not only is he an athlete, he is a young man with everything in front of him and this has come up and I feel like we need to help him.
“He has been so positive and so brave and I think it would be great to be able to help to get him back to the Gold Coast and continue his recovery.”
Take a listen below to Saya and Kai chatting with Galey, Emily Jade & Christo last Friday:
Fergo brought this story to Galey’s attention, he spoke to Galey, Emily Jade & Christo on Monday:
Kai’s Dad Martin spoke to Galey, Emily Jade & Christo on Tuesday, take a listen below:
Galey’s Ride 4 Kai will take place at the Nerang BMX Track from 8am on Thursday 3 December to 8am on Friday 4 December. To donate, visit: gofundme.com/f/ride-4-kai