BOSTON — Kolby Keysor is determined not to let paralysis slow him down.
On a recent afternoon bike ride, the 20-year-old Cadyville resident pulled ahead of his father, Scott, as they raced along the Boston waterfront.
Yet while Scott pumped his legs to keep the bike moving, Kolby used a modified hand-powered bicycle to drive past his father.
Kolby later posted a photo of the race on his Facebook page.
“Scotty K in the back trying to keep up, guess I never left my racing mentality behind,” the caption for the photo read.
Kolby was paralyzed from his lower back down after breaking four vertebrae in a motocross accident Sept. 15 at a private off-road track on Dry Bridge Road in AuSable.
After receiving care at CVPH Medical Center and Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Kolby was admitted to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, one of the largest inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States.
His treatment has continued there, and he is expected to be able to return home by Oct. 29.
Though Kolby declined to speak with the Press-Republican, his father said he has maintained a positive outlook throughout the experience.
“His doctors said they can’t believe he’s got such a great attitude going through this,” he said.
Along with providing therapy treatment, doctors at the Spaulding Center have been introducing Kolby and his family to the catalog of modern technology available for people with physical disabilities.
That includes hand-controlled cars and modified motocross bikes, four-wheelers and snowboards.
“He’s going to be doing everything he did before, just a little bit different,” Scott said.
Back in Cadyville, friends and family members have been working to prepare for Kolby’s return and to help ease the transition from the hospital.
Modifications are being made to the Keysor family house, including a new deck with a ramp and wider doorways to make the house more wheelchair-accessible, Scott said.
Shortly after the accident, Kolby’s cousin Kara Goff established a donation fund on the website gofundme.com.
“Within a couple days, it was up to $2,000, and within a week, it was up to $5,000, which was my original goal,” she said.
Goff raised the goal amount to $10,000, and $7,205 had been donated at press time.
The name “Team Kolby” was chosen by Goff and other supporters to describe the network of people working to assist the Keysor family.
Working together, they have planned a benefit spaghetti dinner to be held at noon Nov. 15 at the Saranac Fire Department station.
Tickets for the event are $10 and will be sold at the door. Along with the meal, the event will feature live music, a bake sale and a Chinese raffle.
DISC GOLF TOURNAMENT
While trying to think of ways to help, Kolby’s cousin Caleb Keysor decided to draw on the local popularity of disc golf as a way to gather supporters.
“I’ve been a part a lot of charity tournaments and figured it would be a great idea to try and set one up for Kolby,” he said.
With help from his father, Eric, Caleb organized the Team Kolby charity disc golf tournament, to be held Nov. 1 at the Cadyville Recreational Park.
The tournament will have divisions for professional and amateur players, and prizes will include mini discs and gift certificates.
Caleb praised his cousin both for being a skilled athlete and for keeping an optimistic outlook on life despite his injuries.
“The fact that he can look at himself, possibly never being able to walk again, and look forward and look toward the best is awesome,” he said.