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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Banasiewicz makes progress

By Brian Tunney
ESPN.com

Brett Banasiewicz

One week after Brett Banasiewicz moved into a traumatic brain injury rehabilitation facility in Atlanta, Ga., the 18-year-old DK Bicycles pro continues to make progress following a crash in Virginia Beach on August 23.

Banasiewicz has regained three pounds, and was also allowed to stand up for several minutes with assistance during his first few days at the facility. According to Trish Bare Grounds of Bare Essentials Sports Medicine, Banasiewicz also managed to smile during his occupational therapy sessions on Monday.

Bare Grounds said that being able to stand up was a huge step forward. "He stood so tall as we gave some of his joints support and he loved it! It really perked up his attitude," said Bare Grounds, who has been spending the majority time in Atlanta with Brett and his father Bill Banasiewicz.

Banasiewicz is also undergoing speech therapy, and with the help of an iPad, was able to spell his name twice earlier in the week. Although Brett is still not able to speak, he can convey simple "yes" and "no" answers through the use of an iPad app. "He is finally getting the idea that in order to get his life back he has to pt a lot of effort into therapy," said Bare Grounds.

Fundraisers and benefits continue to happen for Banasiewicz throughout the BMX community. This Saturday, October 6, at the Recon Tour finals in Mission Valley, Calif., a fundraiser is being held. Competitors and attendees can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win one of two complete Mirraco bikes, and prizes from Monster Energy, Hookit, SPY, Pant Saggin Designz, Bell Helmets and more.

And later this month, following the San Francisco Dew Tour stop, fellow DK Bicycles team rider Drew Bezanson is donating his bike to the Athlete Recovery Fund for an auction to help raise money for Brett's bills. Meanwhile, the Athlete Recovery Fund continues to accept direct Paypal donations to Brett's fund via the Athlete Recovery Fund website.