Fundraiser today for local girl with spinal injury

A fundraiser car wash will be held today at the Lemoore Kmart to help raise money for a 19-year-old local resident who received major injuries to her neck and spinal cord while driving through the Pismo Beach dunes in July.

Rachael Palmer, who had been attending Lawrence and Co. College of Cosmetology in Hanford, was driving a 4×4 truck with four of her friends through the dunes at Pismo Beach when the vehicle flipped over.

Two of the vehicle’s occupants received minor injuries, while Palmer was airlifted to a hospital in San Luis Obispo.

“She has gone through a lot of emotions, but she is holding up well and showing a positive attitude, which is the old Rachael shining through,” said her mother, Patricia Palmer. “She’s still Rachael and she is still a great, beautiful girl.”

The fundraiser is being held to offset the costs of purchasing a new specialty vehicle and performing home remodeling, which will be required to better accommodate Palmer when she returns home.
“She has her ups and downs, but she is doing very well with it,” said Palmer’s boyfriend Nick Berrones, 19, who was in the accident but suffered no injuries. “I think she is going to walk again, but it is going to take time.

“She is getting better and better each day that I see her. It is just more and more good news.”

Stacie Sotelo, Berrones’ sister, ran a previous car wash and raised nearly $800 in donations for the family.

“I’d like to thank the community for their support,” Patricia Palmer said. “We are not from here originally and yet everyone has been great to us. I just really want to thank everyone.”

Palmer was taken to Children’s Hospital Central California on Wednesday, where she is currently undergoing Rehabilitation.

Benefit car wash

* People interested in donating to the Rachael Palmer Fund can do so at Bank of America, Account #11978-69395; or at the Lemoore Kmart car wash today, which starts at 8 a.m.

* For more information, contact Staci Sotelo at (559) 362-8908.

* Sotelo has also asked that people who have previously contributed to the fund contact her, so she can acknowledge their contributions.

By Joe Johnson

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