FORT COLLINS, Colo. – On Saturday, cyclists will take to the streets of Fort Collins to raise money for the family of a local woman who is a single mother of three and suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident that occurred in June. The fundraiser ride will begin and end at Lee’s Cyclery South, located at 931 E. Harmony Road in Fort Collins.
Saturday’s Wanda’s Ride is organized by her friend, Amy Ehrenberger, and the Fort Collins Cycling Club.
During summers, Wanda Roche used to wake up early morning to do 40 to 60 miles on her Cannondale bike. After that, she helped her children get ready for school and spend the rest of the day with her dog, but it took only two seconds to upset her daily routine due to the bicycle accident that left her paralyzed.
When the accident happened, Roche was on a week-long bike ride through Colorado. The ride began in Crested Butte and she was just past the highest point of the ride, Cottonwood Pass, when another rider hit her from the back on the descent.
Roche said, “I just was thrown off the road at high speeds. I had a huge impact in my back and the back of my head, and I was flying. I was sailing. To where, I had no idea. I remember looking down at the gravel thinking, ‘Why am I not sinking in?’ I was going too fast to sink in. I remember looking at bush thinking, ‘Why are you so small you can’t slow me down?’ I don’t remember anything after that bush. I don’t remember anything after that”.
She fell 30 feet from the road, down a ravine, landing on her Cannondale bicycle. Only the front wheel of the bicycle was damaged in the crash.
She was taken to surgery at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood with the help of a helicopter. Her right arm was broken and she couldn’t move her legs. She remained in ICU for a week and a half and another week in a regular hospital room. After being released from the hospital, she also spent 2 months at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital. When she was taken to the rehab, she said, “You go for a bike ride; you think you’re coming home, and you don’t come home for a couple of months. And you don’t come home with your feet and legs working. How does that happen? I want them to work so badly, but they don’t”.
On Thursday morning, with tears in her eyes Roche said, “I haven’t been able to get out of bed yet. This didn’t just happen to me. It happened to everyone”.
Riders taking part in the cycling event can participate in a 56-mile, 26-mile or 6-mile ride for a minimum donation of 60 dollars. The funds collected will be used to modify Roche’s home to make it wheelchair-accessible. She has modified her home with a stair glide, wheelchair ramps and a modified shower, but more modifications to her home and car are required.
On Wednesday, a benefit dinner and concert will be held for Roche at Ryan’s Grill. It will start from 6 p.m. and will end at 10 p.m.
She has to shift her weight in her wheelchair after every 10 minutes. According to her, she lost something but also gained something in return. Everything around her has altered and it is not only for her but also for her kids and people dear to her. She said, “People’s hearts hurt for me, but I’m pretty tough. I don’t look back. It’s a new world. Every time I’ve seen someone in a wheelchair, I’ve just seen someone who could not walk. That is so not true. I wouldn’t have known. Every part of their being has changed. It’s just the way it is. I lived a very sheltered life and so did my kids. I think this is going to teach my kids compassion a lot. You can’t teach it by telling them about it”.
“I may look different, but I’m still the same mom,” she added.
Have you or someone you know been injured in a bicycling accident in Denver? Contact a Colorado Springs bicycling accident lawyer today to get the help you deserve. A serious accident can put you in financial strain and having the right lawyer can mean a big difference in your case.
Andrew is a knowledgeable Colorado accident attorney who will ensure that you understand the time limits that apply to your case, and ensure that everything is handled in a timely manner. No one should have to face financial hardship on top of physical injury because of another’s reckless actions. For more information, call Andrew today at (303) 807-6187, or simply fill out and submit the contact form on this website