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Khem Visits Lanna Muay Thai
I’ve written before about Khem here. This is an update on how Khem is doing, as well as our efforts to raise money in order to help support him and pay for his significant medical and therapy expenses. Below is video of him visiting Lanna Muay Thai last week, just after a physiotherapy appointment at a nearby hospital. He boldly says “I want to walk,” and you can see in his eyes that he will, possibly soon. We get to hear from Khem and his mom, with whom he lives along with his father in Pi – a neighboring agricultural village about 30 minutes outside Chiang Mai City. I love the way Khem’s mother talks; she has a heavily local way of speaking that I find very charming and her smile and bright face have been inherited by Khem, as you can see.
Lanna Muay Thai Is Raising Money
Den has been leading the effort at Lanna to raise money for Khem and his family. This has involved personal donations through PayPal from people who have come to know Khem over the years by visiting Lanna, and the generosity of many Thais in the Muay Thai community. We began with a goal of raising $3,300 (100,000 ฿) and thus far we have raised $2,000 (60,000 ฿) to give towards his $15,000+ medical and therapy expenses. If you are moved every $1 donated counts.
Khem is an important part of the Lanna Muay Thai family. He came to the gym at the age of 15, from the fields of Pi where his family resides. Khem worked very hard and became a rising star in Muay Thai, winning the North of Thailand belt at 135 lbs and then going on to a prestigious western-style boxing career, winning various WBC titles as well. He was one of Lanna Muay Thai’s first “adopted sons,” as is the way of traditional Thai camps, and one of their first champions. He is a primary member of the Lanna Muay Thai family and has impacted countless members of the Lanna community over the years. Due to his success in the Muay Thai Community at large, as well as western-style boxing, Khem’s name (fight name Sintung Kiet Busaba) is still well-known throughout Thailand and the Muay Thai fight news magazine Muay Siam has involved itself in helping Khem’s recovery.
The Fights at Thapae Stadium This Saturday
Part of what Muay Siam has done is helping to promote a fight card organized this Saturday, Sept. 28th to benefit Khem, apart from our gym’s efforts to raise money as well. I’m fighting on the card against a champion at my weight, her name is Cherry, and Big is fighting as well but for the title of North Thailand Champion at 108 lbs. It’s going to be awesome.
The magazine printed a full page spread for the event, along with photos of the fighters and Khem’s picture and story. (They also ran a three page story on Khem’s career and his accident in a publication a few months ago.) Below is an image of Khem holding the magazine promoting the event.
We’re not sure how much money can be raised through this event, but a portion of ticket sales will go to Khem, envelopes for donations are being passed out to the crowd and fighters will be given the option to donate all or some of our purse. There is something really wonderful about a Muay Thai event benefiting someone like Khem, who is so much a part of the Muay Thai Community and the history and family of Lanna Muay Thai as a gym. It demonstrates how Muay Thai is an art form, a sport, a way of life, a community and ultimately a support system for those who have lived their lives within it. The donations received from friends of Lanna Muay Thai around the world demonstrate this as well. It’s truly inspiring. Be a part of it, no donation is too small. If you do not have PayPal email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can find a way.
If you’d like to contact Khem and give him verbal support you can find him on his Facebook Page.