Disabled Rider to Raise Awareness of Paralysis with help of Bionic Exoskeleton
Hall of Fame Riders Cordero, Solis, Santos, Prado & Blum to Join Straight
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Disabled jockey Michael Straight will raise awareness in the advancements of treating paralysis by walking into the winner’s circle at Gulfstream Park Sunday, Jan. 3 with the help of a bionic exoskeleton.
Straight, paralyzed from the chest down in a 2009 spill, will walk with the help of the bionic exoskeleton manufactured by Ekso Bionics Inc., which provides upright ambulation for persons with chronic, disabling disorders such as spinal cord injuries. Straight’s bionic exoskeleton costs approximately $87,000 with physical therapy.
Straight will be welcomed into the winner’s circle by Hall of Fame riders Angel Cordero Jr., Alex Solis, Jose Santos, Walter Blum and Edgar Prado. The riders will sign autographs, and t-shirts will be available for purchase.
Once Straight is welcomed into the winner’s circle, the riders will greet Michael Martinez, who suffered a severed spine in a spill in 2010. Straight and the other riders will then announce efforts to raise money to provide Martinez a bionic exoskeleton. Martinez is the cousin of Alex Solis.