[KHTS] – Family and friends of Justin Covarrubias, a Santa Clarita teen that became paralyzed from the waist down after a motocross crash in 2014, came out to the AV Motoplex Motocross Ride Park on Saturday to raise funds for a device that would allow Justin to be able to walk.
Justin Covarrubias, 17, of Canyon Country, sustained spinal injuries after a motocross race on Sept. 28, 2014.
The T-5 and T-6 vertebrae in the middle of Justin’s back were broken in the crash and Justin has no feeling below his waist.
Justin had a three percent chance of ever walking again, said Brandi Lundin, co-owner of the AV Motoplex Motocross Ride Park.
“Technology has come out with this amazing device, it’s a robotic exoskeleton that straps onto his body and allows him to physically walk,” said Lundin. “Unfortunately, insurance isn’t paying for all of it right now, so we’re trying to raise funds so that Justin can purchase this device so that he can walk again.”
The exoskeleton costs patients about $77,000 each, said Christina Zicklin, director of Marketing/Public Relations for the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in a previous story. Many insurances don’t cover the new exoskeleton.
The Covarrubias family is trying to raise enough money to purchase an exoskeleton so Justin can walk across the stage with his classmates at graduation in May.
Lundin estimated between 80 to 100 riders, as well as multiple spectators, came out to support Justin.
“It’s really awesome to see all the support from the people I’ve grown up riding with,” said Justin. “It’s cool to see them come out to support me. It’s amazing.”
100 percent of the funds raised from the AV Motoplex Motocross Ride Park at Saturday’s event went directly towards Justin, said Justin’s mother, Jamie Covarrubias, “it’s amazing.”
Lundin opened the AV Motoplex Motocross Ride Park with her husband in 2005 and said Saturday’s event was “the most heartfelt event” she’s ever done.
“To be honest, his face seems just as happy now, he’s a strong kid,” said Lundin. “We’re super excited to have him here.”