dear social media, a ‘ridgewood rebel’ needs our help.

What if… you lost the ability to walk – I mean today, right now, this very moment, without a smidge of warning?

What if… you were only 17 years old?

Kevin Moore, a varsity wrestler from Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Illinois had this happen to him almost a month ago. The high school junior was wrestling at a Saturday morning tournament when he injured his neck and suffered a spinal injury. This was the moment life changed for Kevin, it also changed for his family, all in one unpredictable instant.

As a former teacher and coach in the Ridgewood community, it breaks my heart to learn something bad has happened to one of Ridgewood’s students. When you teach, each student enters your heart one way or another. Even though I never taught Kevin, I taught a lot of boys like him. Super nice boys – (like my brothers or nephews) full of enthusiasm and energy. All from hard working families doing their best to raise good kids in a caring community.

A group of people with common interests – that’s what is important in times like these. The Ridgewood community is coming together for the family of one of its own. Of the many initiatives to help to help the family, one has been started by a coach, Lou Mezzano. Funny thing, Lou was a former student of mine. Vividly, I can still see a 17 year old Lou in my gym class, excited about his team’s turn to play in a badminton tournament. A happy kid with a large heart who loved gym. Each day, Lou couldn’t wait to prove himself to his friends, as he tested and bested his skills on the court. Never in a million years, would I have imagined that as an adult, he would be using those same skills to raise money. This time, with a resolve to help the family of one of his own athletes. But, that’s Lou. That’s community.

To everyone and anyone who would like to share in this community action I invite you to participate.

While the doctors are not sure when Kevin will walk, each day he fights for the tiniest bit of movement at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. The cost of a spinal chord injury can be staggering. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation “It is estimated that the first year of medical expenses following a spinal cord injury totals $200,000. That number more than doubles if the injury relates to the cervical spine.” Kevin’s injury is to the cervical spine.

A gofundme website has been set up by Lou to raise money for the family called Team Moore by Lou Mezzano. Every little bit will help Kevin and his family. Even if you are unable to donate at this time, you can still  be part of the community effort to help…please share the gofundme website everywhere and anywhere around social media.

In a post on the Team Moore website, someone ironically points out “if social media was able to raise $300,000 for a man with the ability to walk, how much can be raised for a young man fighting for the ability to walk ?”

Team Moore website…http://www.gofundme.com/kpsjv8

What if… one moment you were using your legs and then the next – there was nothing?

What if… you were only 17 years old?

Know that your kindness has a ripple effect in the universe.
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