T.J. Lavin prepares for Vegas benefit
Professional BMX dirt rider and television host T.J. Lavin continues to heal at home following his October 14 crash at the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. "He's kicking butt. When I talk to him, he's all there: memory and everything. He's the same old T.J.," said Lavin's friend and fellow BMX dirt pro Tim 'Fuzzy' Hall on Thursday.
"He's in major pain with his wrist though. T.J. always jokes around, and he said something like, "Now I know what it's like to put my hand in front of a train and have it run over. That's how much pain I'm in," Hall continued.
"When I just spoke to him, he was at the doctor having his wrist examined," Hall added.
Lavin's crash during the Dew Tour Championships in mid-October left him with bleeding and swelling on the brain, a broken wrist and an orbital fracture. Lavin remained in a medically induced coma for close to a week, but has made significant progress in his recovery since emerging from the coma. Doctors expect Lavin to make a full recovery.
To aid in Lavin's recovery, the Las Vegas and action sport communities are coming together to support Lavin and fellow BMXer Ty Pinney, who suffered a similar head injury as Lavin while riding Lavin's backyard in October. To benefit the T.J. and Ty Recovery Fund, UFC president Dana White is hosting a fundraising benefit on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Vanity Nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Raffle items include a drum kit from Travis Barker, free admission to Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and personal baseball instruction from Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino. 100 percent of the money raised will go to T.J. and Ty.
"I'm in Hollywood right now, but we're going to Vegas tomorrow for T.J.'s benefit," said Hall, with a reminder that the benefit is not just for Lavin. "T.J. is really concerned about Ty Pinney. That's a big deal to T.J. It's not just T.J.'s fundraiser, it's for Ty as well," he added.
"T.J. has a big heart, and since he's been out of the hospital, he's been worried about Ty all the time."
Currently, Pinney remains in a rehab center in Las Vegas following his injuries, while Lavin has been attending outpatient therapy. Lavin will return to hosting the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" show on MTV, but was instructed to take a year off from riding BMX bikes and motorcycles.
33-year-old Lavin rose to fame in the BMX dirt scene in the early years of the X Games. The Las Vegas native earned a silver medal in 1996 and gold medals in 1997 and 1999. In the years since, Lavin has remained an aggressive competitor on the Dew Tour Circuit while branching out as a TV host for 10 seasons of MTV's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge." The Dew Tour Championships was to be Lavin's last contest as a professional before retiring.
Follow Brian Tunney on Twitter: @briantunney