After a motocross accident left Brandy Ogletree paralyzed, her drive to ride again hasn’t left.
Ogletree said she received her first dirt bike at 9 years old, and started really enjoying riding around 11 or 12. After graduating high school in 2014, she focused more on competing and even got a trainer and sponsorships.
But on April 12, 2015, Ogletree, who is now 22, was in Laurel, Indiana, practicing for a race when, near the end of the track, she went up a hill and saw another rider at the bottom where she was going to land. That’s when she had to make a split-decision, she said.
Instead of landing, Ogletree chose to wreck her bike.
“I did so to prevent my bike from landing on another rider who was on the blind landing.
“It left me paralyzed for the time being but most definitely saved his life,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page.
Now, Ogletree continues physical therapy in hopes to regain mobility and sensation, but recently learned of a newly FDA approved stem-cell procedure.
“My dad actually shared a Facebook ad,” she said. That’s how she discovered this new option. She then attended an educational seminar on it where a team of doctors described the procedure to her and she agreed to do it, she said.
Because this procedure is new, her insurance doesn’t yet cover it. That’s why on Feb. 5, she created a GoFundMe page to raise money for this three-injection procedure, which cost about $9,000 per injection.
Ogletree, now a student at the University of Kentucky, said she has a passion for stem-cell research and the benefits it can provide.
“I’m going to school to be a doctor…I found a passion for studying stem-cells,” she said.
Ogletree said she knows this procedure could really help her, and she said she’s grateful for all the support thus far.
“I really appreciate all the support I’ve been given,” she said.
“I really do want to ride again. I don’t know when that’ll happen, but I do believe it will.”
Donations can be made through Ogletree’s GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/brandy-ogletree-stem-cell-procedure-fund.
At press time, the GoFundMe page had raised $2,840.
Hannah Woosley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.