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Determination, Generosity Get MX Racer Back on the Track

HE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE found MX racer Aaron Horsley living a dream that had nearly died on a California desert road in 2007. Direct Jobber Dane Evans of Moorpark, Calif., AMSOIL INC. and many others were responsible for bringing Horsley’s dream back to life.

The first race day of the 2009 AMA Southern California Championship Motocross Series at Milestone Ranch MX Park in Riverside, CA brought Horsley back to the track after nearly two years of recovery from a hit-and-run accident that nearly cost his life and left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was there to ride his motorcycle - specially re-designed to accommodate him.

"Aaron has an amazing spirit and is so full of life even though he may never walk again," said Evans, owner of MadJack Racing and a series official for District 37. "He's now 19 and has his own car equipped with hand controls. He's very self sufficient, more than most 19-year-olds who are not paralyzed from the waist down."

On Oct. 10, 2007, Horsley was a 17-year-old high school senior and MX racer. During a motorcycle ride in the desert with some friends that afternoon, a truck driving in the opposite direction turned in front of Horsley. "Aaron didn't have enough time to stop so he hit the brakes and laid the bike over, slamming into, and then under, the truck," Evans said.

Horsley was dragged more than 400 feet. He woke up two weeks later in Loma Linda Medical Center. "His injuries: two collapsed lungs, a broken back that left him paralyzed from the waist down and two wrists that needed reconstruction with skin, muscle and tendons taken from his legs," Evans said. Doctors told the family it would be a long, difficult recovery if he survived the infections that most likely would attack his fragile body.

For the next year and a half, Horsley was in and out of the hospital battling one infection after another. Yet, he continued to dream of getting back on a motorcycle.

District 37 racers followed Horsley's progress on an online message board. One day Horsley posted a message of thanks to members of District 37 for the help they gave him in getting medical supplies and equipment that were denied by insurance, as well as their caring support. Fellow racer Scott Norton, a well-respected custom car builder, was online the day Horsley mentioned how much he'd like to ride again.

Norton launched into action. He picked up Horsley's motorcycle to rebuild and was amazed at how members of District 37 came together. "They provided sponsored parts, accessories, exhaust systems, clutches, gear, boots, you name it," Evans said. "Scott found it all on his doorstep through their generosity."

Evans initially provided AMSOIL lubricants to bring the bike back to riding condition. AMSOIL INC. provided Horsley with lubricants, an AMSOIL racing jersey and other supplies and support.

When the customized bike was done, Horsley practiced riding it a little bit each day to be ready to ride an inaugural lap at the Dirt Diggers Summer Motocross Race at Milestone MX.

When the day finally arrived, Horsley was placed on his bike, and with hundreds of riders behind him, was living his dream of once again riding a motorcycle on a track with friends and family. Alongside him was his best friend Kane Cook and Evans. They rode side-by-side around the track. Evans, who is also the referee of the motocross series, urged Horsley to get the most out of his ride. "If you are feeling good, keep going," Evans told Horsley. "Don’t stop at one lap and don’t stop until someone forces us off the track if you want." Evans reports that Horsley came off the track smiling from ear to ear.

"Thanks to the generosity of many people within the district, individuals and industry sponsors, enough money was raised to not only purchase a standing frame for Aaron, but additional funds were placed in his bank account to cover other medical and personal expenses that had accumulated over time.

"Aaron has a long way to go in his recovery, but he smiles a lot more now and his voice has a spark to it that was noticeably missing. He's going to be just fine thanks to the kindness of so many."

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