High school athletes nationwide account for an estimated 30,000 hospitalizations, 500,000 doctor visits and 2 million injuries each year. This staggering number affects football, basketball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, rugby players as well as cheerleaders and gymnasts.
As a sports enthusiast and parent of four athletic children, I’ve seen my share of injuries occur during games. Everything from sprains and bruises, to broken bones, shattered noses and knees and concussions. While painful these injuries pale in comparison to the life changing tragedy Kori Wiita suffered. In a moment this Highland High School senior went from athlete to quadriplegic after a hit in a football game.
Matt Galland, a Brecksville-Broadview Hts football player didn’t know Wiita, but the reality of the situation hit home for him. How easily and quickly a life can change.
Rush for a Cause, a non-profit organization was started by Matt Galland in order to raise funds for the victims of these unexpected tragedies. This multi-talented athlete decided to use his talents for good and enlisted the help of other high school athletes to join him in his endeavors.
The charity works like this, people can go online , choose an athlete to follow, pledge a certain amount of money for every yard earned.
Mike Trivisono of WTAM 1100 is a big supporter of Rush for a Cause and has been bringing more awareness through his radio show.
Mr. Trivisono is not the only local supporter though, The Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers are on board and have invited all the participating high school running backs to come to the court this season.
What one person’s passionate effort can start. Galland is hoping for more high school athletes to sign up for next season.
The money raised goes toward helping injured athletes with medical bills, which can be staggering, especially in the case of an injury like Wiita. Although Rush for a Cause began with a football player, they are not limiting themselves to just this sport.
Visit the Rush for a Cause website for more information, to sign up as a high school athlete, to pledge or donate money, or nominate an injured player.
In addition, The David Lytle Memorial Foundation has a similar focus. It was started in 2007 after the death of David Lytle, a quadriplegic from Litchfield, Ohio. He was injured in a car accident in 1992, while in his early 20’s. This organization helps those suffer tragic spinal cord injuries as adults.
The injured individual and their loved ones, are forever changed. Their future plans may have to change or go on hold. The logistics of caring for a wheelchair-bound person has probably never came up, ramps need installed, door jams widened, bedroom situations may have to switch, caregiving, and of course the elephant in the room, finances, are all brand new territory to navigate.
Help those in that situation by checking out Rush for a Cause and The David Lytle Memorial Foundation. Every little bit helps.