Callan Bancilhon was born in 1990 with a streak of excitement in his blood. He was raised into a life of motorbikes and fast cars and rode in his first race at the age of 7, setting him up for a life of competition, triumph and thrills - this kept his family on the edge of their seats.
Callan was 12 years old, racing motocross at a State Level, when everything came crashing down. Callan’s destiny changed forever that day, it was September 22nd 2002 at the Northwest Round in Paraburdoo. It was the last lap, Cal was leading, he took the last corner and headed for the table top, these would be the last few moments that Callan remembers. The bike flew over the jump, but stalled in mid-air, he rode it out, but without any brakes Cal was unable to level the bike and that’s when everything went terribly wrong. Callan came crashing down and not only did he take a massive fall, but the bike landed on the back of his head. He was knocked out instantly, and there he lay. Our lives would never be the same. A life changing moment all in a split second.
From there he was air lifted by the RFDS to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) where he was put into an induced coma which lasted 10 days. Doctors didn’t think he would survive, and we lost him twice in that time, but he fought back. The prognosis was discouraging and the hope of him waking was very slim. So we sat by the bed every waking hour talking to him and begging him to come back to us. We weren’t ready to let him go, and luckily Cal wasn’t ready to give up either. The diagnosis was a (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury. The main damage being found in the Basal Ganglia and Left Temporal Lobe area. After 10 long days and nights it was time to bring him out for the 3rd time, which miraculously worked. Cal then spent the next 5 months in PMH fighting for each day; this would be where he would face another major hurdle in his young life.
Despite the medical team’s prognosis, Cal proved them all wrong. He would now ride out the most important race of his life. Each day, as supporters, mechanics and pit crew we were all busy making sure at the start of each day he was cleaned and fuelled, ready to kick ass. Ensuring he got back on if he fell off and making sure he knew he had our full support right until the end. He was now competing for his quality of life, and each day we were seeing more than ever the courage, the support and the friendship that kept us pushing to reach the podium. Cal battled through the sweat and tears and re-learnt how to walk and talk again, day by day... the simple things in life that we all take for granted.
From there on, each day counted and every treatment was attempted. It became a painful and very exhausting obsession for all of us. Cal travelled to Melbourne on several occasions to undertake 5 week intensive hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions, he underwent operations countless times including Bone Grafts, endured numerous Botox injections , all while weekly visits were continued to Bowen Therapy, Acupuncture, Kinesiology Reiki, Hypnosis, Magnetic Healing & Point Percussion therapies. We were desperate for recovery.
12years later we are still seeing results and never give up hope. In January this year, Callan travelled to America and visited one of the world’s best rehabilitations centres, “Project Walk” He met with therapists and explored his options. They wanted Cal to come back and we wanted nothing more but to see him strive to reach his full potential. With the costs reaching 10’s of thousands of dollars we had to be realistic and come up with a different option.
Through further research we stumbled across a spinal injury rehabilitation program based in Perth called “Walk on” Although Cal does not suffer from a Spinal injury, they were happy for us to access the program. So we then spent 2 weeks with daily appointments in Perth and for the first time in close to 12 years we saw Callan walk correctly, swinging his arms, and with a massive grin on his face. Family and friends of Cal were left with goose bumps; words could not explain the inspiration felt in that room. Each small step, tears dropped to the floor – Our little legend was at it again heading for that podium.
After the 2 weeks of training using the new exercise program we were advised Callan’s muscles were strong enough to recover and he could develop a correct walking pattern by doing certain intense exercises. So we were off home to find a Personal Trainer. And Cal was back to the gym 5 days a week with a new spring in his step
Callan is now booked to go back to “Walk On” for 3 week program at the end of July. Unfortunately though, this program is not a Government funded resource, therefore all costs have to be covered upfront by patients attending this centre. On a single wage Callan’s mother, Julie has worked very hard to help finance Callan’s rehab. She is an amazingly strong mother, her strength, love and commitment to Callan is astonishing- standing by his side to support him through all types of twists and turns. She has resorted to working away so she can provide the best for her family, as well as fund the assistance Cal needs to keep achieving his rehabilitation goals. However at more than $100 per hour, it has become a very expensive treatment but and we would really love to be able to continue as we can see the improvement in Cal already.
Sadly some days his disability gets the better of him and he loses all motivation, but Callan is very blessed to have a circle of very physically & mentally powerful people that empower him to strive and keep pushing on. Life hasn’t always been easy, but with every small victory that Callan has, it is just a reminder of how lucky we are to have this guy with us, and for that, we appreciate and take on every struggle with the desire for his improvement.
Anyone that has had the opportunity to meet Cal, will know, he is a very witty and sometimes quite cheeky character. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Cal’s Support team. The friends that have stuck by his side and continued to push him; the boys that took him under their wings and the girls who let him get away with being so cheeky! To his Mother for her unconditional love, my best friends for all the times you picked me up at my worst, Cal’s Nan and Pop for putting your life on hold for us, and to all of our extended family and friends for their continued love, strength and support, we thank you!!.
We want nothing more than for Cal to ride high and settle for nothing but his best, he has the world at his feet and we are here every step of the way. For those of you who have taken the time to read the story of this incredible son, brother, nephew, grandson cousin and friend Thank YOU for joining his support team!
Every dollar counts and won’t go unnoticed.
Thank you for all your love.
Taken from Cals Will To Walk on Go Fund Me
POSTED LAST WEEK:
THANK YOU to everyone that has kindly contributed and joined Cal’s Support Team so far! We have had an overwhelming response of support in 4 days with over 700 Facebook followers and we are extremely happy to announce we have just hit $4000!
Because of all you beautiful people, we are awfully excited to announce that we will be lifting the goal amount in the hope that Callan will be able to attend the World’s best rehabilitation Centre “Project Walk” in Los Angeles, America. www.projectwalk.com
The first batch of Cadbury Fundraising Chocolates has already been distributed to businesses in Geraldton, and tomorrow we will have over 60 boxes being distributed between Newman, Geraldton & Perth.
Our next aim is to organise a quiz night. Camel Bar Geraldton has kindly offered to hold the function, we will keep you all posted with a date.
If you have any interesting ideas to keep the tally rising please let me know. Any amounts raised will be recorded on Cal's page so you can track our progress. Fingers crossed, wish us luck and hopefully we will have this young man running in no time.
Words cannot describe how grateful we are for all of your support and generosity.
- Lainie Bancilhon 0437 202 277