By Grace Willougby

Maija (right)  and I have been friends for about 10-11 years now.

We rode together in New Zealand and then I moved to Australia and not long after she came too.

She’s one of my oldest and best friends.

The reason I decided to start the fund was because there were a lot of people reaching out and saying they’d love to help her in this situation but were unsure how to go about it and we just thought this would be a great way for those willing and wanting to help.

If the tables were turned and I was in her position I know she wouldn’t hesitate to do whatever she could to help and support me.  Maija’s not somebody who would willingly ask for help and whatever we raise will help take the pressure off her and her family a little bit once she leaves hospital.

Her recovery time is really unpredictable as most spinal cord injuries are but this money we raise will help her see the best treatments and help give her the best possible chance for any recovery. She’s extremely determined to walk again and throws everything into her physio consults and staying positive about it all.

When the fall happened, I didn’t really know how to deal with it myself because it’s very hard seeing this happen to someone you love and not being able to do anything about it. So like I said earlier this was just a way for myself and others to show our support.

I’ve seen a few gofundme pages that have been set up for people with the same kind of injuries as hers and have been able to raise $100,000, that would be amazing but I think if we can even raise $20,000 I’ll be over the moon and so thankful to everyone for their part.

Maija’s got quite a little cult following over here in Australia. She rode here for quite a while and everyone has just been devastated by what’s happened to her.

I have a different person ring me everyday just to see how she’s going and just wanting a general update.

When something like this happens to a fellow rider or person in racing the whole community comes together to support their own, I’ve been blown away by the support the fund has already received and I know Maija is so appreciate of everyone chipping in to help her.

She’s very far from being out of the woods yet but whatever we raise will help hugely getting her back on her feet.

#As of today, the Maija Vance fund had reached $11,399.