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WHOOPS! An active member of Penticton's mountain biking circle had ahorrific accident over Thanksgiving weekend (BC)
Beloved biker needs help
Chelsea Powrie - Oct 10, 2018 / 10:25 am | Story: 238783
An active member of Penticton's mountain biking circle had a horrific accident over Thanksgiving weekend, leaving his family reeling and asking for the support of the community.
On Sunday, Oct. 7, Aart Van Kooy, who has been a biker for most of his life, was riding the Sam I Am trail in the Skaha Bluffs area with a few friends and his dog, Enzo.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by Penticton's Bike Barn to help his recovery, Van Kooy clipped his handlebar on a tree while heading downhill, which sent him over the bars and face-first into the ground. Most of the bones in his face from his eye sockets down were broken.
Van Kooy walked the rest of the way down with the help of his friends, and was then transported to hospital in Penticton and finally to Kelowna.
According to Van Kooy's sister, Kim Van Kooy, he is now in a medically-induced coma in Kelowna awaiting a six- to eight-hour surgery to repair his face.
The fundraising page was set up by Van Kooy's coworker, Tara Scott, at the Bike Barn, after the shop began receiving multiple phone calls from people in the biking community who knew Van Kooy and wanted to help.
"I spoke to a couple people who are out of town, people were trying to figure out how they could give," Scott said.
Van Kooy has worked at the shop for almost 20 years, and the outpouring of support doesn't surprise Scott.
"He's an amazing guy," she said. "If something needs to be done, he does it.. He's like that at the shop, and in his life as well."
"Aart has touched the lives of so, so many people, not only here in British Columbia, but truly worldwide. Aart is always the guy with a smile on his face who is willing to go that extra step to help you out," she wrote on the GoFundMe page.
The page has set a goal of $25,000 to help Van Kooy on the long road to recovery post-surgery. So far, almost $8,000 have been raised.
Scott emphasized that GoFundMe does take a cut of donations, so she encourages any local donors to instead come by the shop with cheques or cash to ensure the most money possible goes directly to Van Kooy.
"And it doesn't need to be money, people can just bring a card, get well soon wishes," Scott said.
Van Kooy's GoFundMe page can be found here.
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