A fundraising event held Saturday for 18-year-old Dan Edwards has brought the Do It For Dan fundraising campaign to the verge of reaching its $150,000 goal.
The recent boost came from a $20,000 donation from the President’s Choice Children’s Charity, which was presented at a charity BBQ at Zehrs.
Another $7,000 was raised at the Saturday event, bringing the fundraising campaign just several thousand dollars shy of its goal. Dan’s mother Florett couldn’t hide her emotions when the figures where announced Saturday, her tears a clear indicator of how very grateful she is.
“This was a surprise. This shocked me,” she said. “I just don’t know what to say, it’s overwhelming.”
Dan was also blown away by the support and by the number of people who came out to support him through the event.
“It feels good to have this much support,” he said. “It just shows (the community) is here for me.”
Edwards, an 18-year-old St. Christopher Secondary School student, is recovering from a serious spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down last summer.
For the past nine months, he has been living at Bluewater Health in the complex care unit at the hospital. He attends school every day and receives the physio and nursing care he requires.
Florett said the family is eagerly awaiting the day Dan is able to return home.
“Nine months of this is a lot,” said Florett. “It’s not the same (without him). But it will be a relief when he comes home.”
With the fundraising nearly complete, the renovations to the family’s Newton Court home can continue in order to make the house wheelchair-accessible. The money will also be used to buy the lifts and specialized bed Edwards needs, as well as a customized van.
The Do It For Dan campaign was started by a volunteer committee made up of friends, teachers, contractors and business people.
St. Christopher’s student council advisor Tamara Johnson said all the support is a tribute to the community’s generosity and in particular the students’ drive to help a peer in need.
“It’s just wonderful to see the students and teachers coming together with the community to support one of our own,” she said.
The support has also touched many of the members of that committee, said co-chair Denise Kohlmeier.
“We’re so thankful to all of Sarnia-Lambton. The support we received is just outstanding,” she said.
“We’re just eager to get (Dan) home that’s the ultimate goal.”
Kohlmeier said they are still expecting to have him back with his family by the end of June.
Local News – Sarnia has done it for Dan.