A plea to always wear your helmet! On the road and the trails!
Unfortunately, Emmerson and myself experienced losing Emmerson's brother to a bicycle fall and head injury. Emmerson's Brother, Burton was on his way to the shop for his mom, just riding his BMX, with no helmet, when a lady suddenly stepped out in front of him causing him to fall off his bike and hit his head on the side of the curb. With an unfortunate series of events, Burton passed away the next morning from bleeding on the brain.
This loss affected us in a huge way. It has most of all taught us to remember to live life to the full and your body is precious! I urge you to encourage others to wear their helmets ALL the time, on roads and on trails. It's too easy to say to ourselves - I'm quickly going to the shops... I'm quickly going down to Atlas for a beer, it's not far... I'm just riding to a friend's around the corner. All these things, we've all done at some point and probably been fine, but it's not your ability or judgment, sometimes accidents just happen. There are a lot of careless drivers out there or careless pedestrians that cause accidents.
It's also Illegal in NZ to not wear a helmet on the roads. The recent article on Rebecca Oaten, whose son had a similar accident and was in a coma for eight months and when he awoke he was paralyzed from the neck down, and could not speak. On January 1st, 1994, the law changed. The Transport Minister Rob Storey announced the new regulation for cyclists to wear helmets or face a $35 fine. That fine has since increased. This was Rebecca's way of making sure no one needed to go through the same trauma as her family! We feel the same - if we encourage anyone to value their brains through this story, we'll feel as if Burton would be very proud and his life valued.
Burton passed away 11 years ago at age 13. He is always loved and always remembered. Written By Meagan and Emmerson Wilken #teamwilken