Joseph Burkhardt is a
beloved member of the Philadelphia Carpenters Union Local 8 who recently
suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury following a devastating accident
while diving in the ocean in Wildwood, New Jersey. On Monday, June 21, 2010,
Joseph was innocently swimming in the ocean when he unexpectedly struck his
head on the ocean bottom, causing him to break his neck and sever his spinal
cord leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. After surgery to repair and
stabilize the injury, Joseph spent the next several months in medical and
rehabilitation facilities that helped strengthen his body and mind.
Joseph maintains a positive attitude through his struggles to regain additional movement in his extremities and is working hard to recover. Every day is a challenge, however, through modern technology, scientific advancements and medical breakthroughs he remains hopeful that he will one day recover from this spinal cord injury and regain the ability to move and achieve independence.
Due to the outpouring love and support by the community immediately following the injury, Joseph and his family were able to make modifications to his home in order to make it wheelchair accessible. Recently, however, Joseph's handicapped accessible van broke down and is no longer able to be used or sold. Therefore, Joseph and his family had to take out a sizable car loan of $45,000.00 and put the remaining $5,000.00 on a credit card to purchase a new handicapped accessible van. After modifications, the cost of the van reached $60,000.00. Joseph had previously received $10,000.00 in funds to help offset a small portion of the total cost. With that said, we are asking for your support to help Joseph and his family by donating whatever you can so they do not have to take on this additional monthly burden. Anything helps and is greatly appreciated!