I’ve been putting off writing about this for a while now cause I really haven’t known to go about it. One of my dearest and oldest friends, Mike Vincent, was hit by a car while riding his bike to work in L.A. just over three weeks ago. The good news is that he survived. The bad news is that he’s still in the hospital, and steadily accruing medical bills all along the way. Mike is a very, very strong person, and he will make a full recovery, but with that also comes medical bills, everyday expenses (like rent) and the cost of his family visiting L.A. for an extended period of time.
You probably know what’s coming next. That’s right. I’m asking for donations to help Mike and his family. It’s been a rough few months in BMX in regards to riders getting injured and enduring prolonged hospital stays, so I understand if you’re not able to donate on account of already donating money to the Jimmy Levan or Stephen Murray Fund over the past few months. But even if you’ve got a few dollars to spare, Mike and his family could use it. Mike’s an extremely generous fellow, and I know he’d do the same for anyone.
He’s also one of my oldest friends, and now is the diatribe in which I go into a little about the dude known as Mike Vincent. I first met Mike in 1991 at a 2B comp in NJ. At the time, he was building custom 71-spoke wheels with freecoasters he modified himself. And I quickly purchased one from him which lasted over two years. I guess I ran into him again at a comp in Maryland. The one guy in pro flat that took himself way too seriously and scoffed at everyone else in the class was about to ride, but during the three minutes of his run, he continually kept falling due in part to the spectator that kept screaming said pro’s name name at the top of their lungs. (That was Mike, and that was all it took to know that Mike was awesome.) Now over the past ten years, Mike and I have traveled all over the world, drinking too much, inadvertently falling into weird situations and quoting bad movies all along the way. I consider him one of my closest friends, and if I’ve been a little quiet about Mike’s recent accident, it’s cause I’m not sure of how to deal with this.
A few of Mike’s friends have been sending out updates on his progress, which I’ve pasted below, along with information on how to donate to Mike’s fund. If you’ve got a few dollars, I’m asking for some help. Thank you.
Here’s the latest update: Mike Vincent is a BMX rider, a professional golf caddy, a worker at the local LA animal shelter, a son, and a friend. While riding his bicycle to work last month he was struck by a car. He incurred severe head trauma along with many other injuries.
His four-week stay in ICU at Cedar Sinai has been filled with many achievements and many setbacks. However, his response to the latest few surgeries have seemed to set the momentum in the right direction. The lung surgery was a success and the chest tubes have already been removed. He was taken off the ventilator soon after the tracheotomy, and has since been breathing on his own with no sign of trouble. He has also adapted well to the insertion of the feeding tube into his stomach. Last week Mike started physical therapy, which at the moment consists of being put in a chair a couple of hours a day to stimulate his lungs and circulation.
In the last couple of days, Mike has grown increasingly, although inconsistently, responsive. He’s not talking yet, but has been responding to the neuro surgeons’ commands to give a thumbs up, show two fingers, raise his arms, etc. Mike is also making purposeful movements such as scratching his face and covering his mouth when he coughs. On another great note, Mike cut short his expected stay in the ICU by 3 weeks. Last night he was moved to Room 8016 in the North Tower of Cedar Sinai.
Even though his condition is rapidly improving, the aftermath of this accident will affect him for years to come. Medical bills alone have already reached a massive amount, even though his journey to recovery has just started. Mike’s recovery also comes with many non-medical expenses like the lively hood of his family, who have suspended their everyday lives to be by his side.
Because there are no unions to provide funds for injured “action sports” athletes, no health insurance provided for private contractors, and no other affordable insurance alternative, MIKE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.
Mike has been a part of and made an impact on many of our lives. Whether we rode with him or hung out and shared a beer with him, he needs us all. Now is the time to come together and help our friend. His recovery will require time, love, hard work, and money. Any amount that you can contribute will help and is greatly appreciated. We all have the power to make a difference. It does not matter the size of the contribution, what matters is the will to help.
Here are the current ways you can contribute:
Direct contribution to PAYPAL:
Mail a check payable to:
903 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029