St. Cloud Bicyclist Paralyzed After Being Hit in National Race
ST. CLOUD -- A prominent member of the St. Cloud bicycling community was seriously hurt while racing in a national bike race.
John Egbers was racing last week in the Trans Am Bike Race. The race starts in Oregon and ends in Virginia. While going through Kansas, Egbers was struck from behind by a vehicle.
Kelly Egbers is John Egbers' daughter. She says her dad is currently in a hospital in Kansas recovering from several injuries.
"He has several fractures, he has fractured his C6 and C7, so he has a spinal cord injury. It's fractured, it's not severed. At this point he has lost function, he's paralyzed from the chest down."
Egbers says her dad is able to talk but he is having some lung issues. He also has some limited movement in his arms. She says the chances of her dad even being able to walk again are not promising.
"With the severity of the injuries he has, the chances are pretty slim, we're just kind of hanging on to hope that if anyone is strong enough to make a miracle happen, it would be my dad. But the prognosis is that he pretty much won't."
Since the incident, his family has started a Go-Fund Me page to help cover his medical expenses. With being up for only four-days over 250 people helped the Egbers family reach their $20,000 goal.
John Egbers is 64-years-old. He works at Revolution Cycle and Ski in St. Cloud, just for fun on a part-time basis. Kelly says because of his ties to the cycling community and that he's a US Air Force veteran, he's played an important role in many peoples lives.
"A lot of people feel connections to him for many different reasons. On top of that, he's just an incredibly smart, amazing man."
Egbers reach goes beyond the United States. In Norway, cyclists have been printing stickers with John's initials and a bike symbol to show support for his recovery.
"They said well we put the stickers on our bikes so we can look down and be inspired by you to keep peddling for you."
As a family, the Egbers are just taking one day at a time. Kelly says it sounds cliche but...
"You don't know what you can handle until you have to handle it."
In the meantime, a fundraiser is being organized to help benefit the Egbers family. It's going to be held July 15 at Beaver Island Brewing Company in St. Cloud. For details follow the link below.