<
>

Pastrana and Fiolek auction helmets

Ashley Fiolek is one of many moto athletes auctioning a helmet for MX for Children this weekend. Jeff Kardas

Autographed helmets from some of the biggest names in motocross are for sale this week in the second annual Helmets for Hydro eBay auction, an MX for Children benefit supporting hydrocephalus research at seven children's hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. This year's auction includes helmets donated by Ashley Fiolek, Travis Pastrana, Justin Barcia, Trey Canard, Ryan Dungey, Brett Metcalfe, Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, and Eli Tomac.

"I hope my helmet will help to raise more money," says Fiolek. The helmet donated by the X Games gold medalist and women's supercross champion last year drew some of the Helmets for Hydro auction's biggest bids. "I actually got involved last year by a fan/friend from Canada who introduced me to the people at MX for Children. They sent me over some info on what their group was about and what they were doing. I definitely think it is important for the moto community to band together and help out whenever they have the opportunity, and this is a great cause."

Hydrocephalus is a form of brain swelling, most common in infants, that is caused by buildups of cerebrospinal fluid and can be a result of trauma in the birthing process. It's also the the number one cause of pediatric brain surgeries in the United States, according to Paul Gross, the founder of both MX for Children and the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network.

"We started MX for Children about five years ago, after my own son suffered from hydrocephalus," says Gross, whose son William has had a total of four brain surgeries to redirect the fluids building up around his brain. "After his surgeries I started thinking about how to give back to this hospital that saved my son's life and how to help the millions of other kids affected by hydrocephalus."

Last year's auction raised about $8,000 according to Gross. Proceeds from this year's auction will benefit hydrocephalus research at Seattle Children's Hospital -- the hospital where Gross' son was operated on -- as well as the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and Texas Children's Hospital in St. Louis. MX for Children also raises money for hydrocephalus research through the annual MX Ride for Children event.

"This is an area that is under-researched, so the proceeds from these auctions and our other fundraising efforts really make an immediate difference," says Gross. "The hospitals we're funding in particular have reduced their rate of infection during these brain surgeries by 35 percent in the last three years, so these young motocross superstars lending their time and support and donating their helmets is really having a huge impact."

The bidding for the Helmets for Hydro eBay auction opened on Tuesday and closes on November 28. "Get out there and bid and help to raise some money for a great cause in helping children," says Fiolek. For more information go to: MXforChildren.org.