Friends and family of Australian alpine ski racing legend, Steve Lee, today launch a fundraising initiative, #steveleefightback, after the three time Winter Olympian suffered a debilitating stroke on 6 September this year.
It was 18 hours before Steve made it to hospital from his home in Falls Creek, after being discovered in the afternoon on the floor of his bedroom by his beloved nephew Paddy. The amount of time that had elapsed between the stroke occurring and medical assistance meant that the news was not good.
Steve had suffered a large inoperable stroke, the likes of which could not be reduced with medication to prevent further impact. He was put on standby to have part of his skull removed to reduce the swelling.
He was disoriented, unsure of what was happening with paralysis down his left side. His sisters Kerry and Tracy took charge of Steve's Fight Back, supporting their mother, Noelene and family logistics.
Only days before, Steve had been testing a new inflatable rig for his backcountry snow mobile ski experience business at Falls Creek and ski touring the surrounding region. Up to this point he had only had one day of operations due to both lack of snow and COVID-19 restrictions that shut down regional Victoria and Melbourne thanks to a second wave of the virus.
"I can tell you that both Paddy and I needed support after seeing Steve for the first time a week after his stroke," says Kerry, Steve's eldest sister.
"It is very confronting. How can a young 58 year old man, fit as any 20 year old, be lying in a wheelchair, convinced he was in New Zealand planning tomorrow’s ski day and clearly with significant impairments."
Steve’s prognosis, his future needs and whether he will be able to return to Falls Creek, remains unknown. Steve has had to re-learn many of the basics we all take for granted but he has a consistent team around him and together they all need your help.
“The ski and snowboard community is a close one, we are all bonded by a love of snow, something that Steve Lee has in spades. What he doesn't have in spades are the dollars necessary to help him through the next phase in his recovery,” says ski journalist Rachael Oakes-Ash.
“The #steveleefightback fundraising platform has been put together to help him and his team. We know 2020 is tough for everyone but even if you can donate the cost of a coffee or a beer, every bit helps.”
Please CLICK HERE TO DONATE & follow and share #steveleefightback on all social platforms.
Read Rachael Oakes-Ash’s (aka Miss Snow It All) remarkable story about Steve Lee here.