Erebus Motorsport team owner Betty Klimenko has kicked off her 2017 season with a donation to the Strength for 91 campaign.

Klimenko presented a $2,000 cheque to Sam Willoughby’s father, Colin, at their office in Melbourne today.

“I once said ‘I’d rather invest the money that we would spend on a launch, into something that benefits someone else’, and this is no different,” Klimenko said.

“When we heard about Sam and his condition, we wanted to support in any way we could.

“We did our part last year and we will continue doing so.”

The team lended its support to Willoughby last year, running Strength for 91 decals on the rear of the cars, before auctioning off the rear boot of David Reynolds’ Commodore, in a bid to raise funds for the BMX sensation.

Sam left Denver Rehab Hospital on New Year’s Eve, and has since arrived home in San Diego.

“Since getting home, he’s been working with a physiotherapist three time a week, then has a home gym set up for the alternate days,” Colin Willoughby said.

“His upper body is coming along really well, and his core is getting a lot stronger; he’s also now able to stand and has started to get some good spasms in his legs.

“Two weeks ago, he was able to get on the static bike and hold himself balanced, his brother Matt and physiotherapist Eric were able to turn his legs and get him started, then he was able to get a little bit of push by himself.

“It’s been a good boost to be home and in his own environment; just over Christmas I was over there, and got his lift set up, built the ramps and got the bathroom renovated, so he’s now got that independence.”

Donations through the Strength for 91 movement have been instrumental in Sam’s recovery, helping towards construction to the home, rehabilitation equipment and ongoing medical costs.

“The donations have been a huge help, and he’s moving a lot quicker than everyone thought.

“The relationship with Erebus has given him a real boost, he got a real buzz from watching the car go around with his stickers on the back and really appreciates everything that’s been done for him.”

Check on Sam’s recovery, or donate, by heading to