I am also a quadriplegic.
Five years ago, I dove into a friend’s pool. Unfortunately, my dive was too steep and as soon as I hit the bottom of the pool, I knew something was very wrong. I felt a cold tingling sensation running down my back and ever since that moment, I have been unable to feel, move, or control any part of my body below my chest. My doctors said the dive damaged my C5 and C6 spinal vertebrae. Despite years of surgeries and therapy, I remain paralyzed.
I may lack the ability to move, but I am not without hope or confidence or gratitude. I continue to seek therapy and consult with doctors, hopeful that a scientific break-through is just around the corner. I continue to pursue my education, confident that I will earn a degree and find a rewarding career in medical research. I continue to work towards being more independent, grateful to my family and friends who tirelessly support my efforts and cheer my victories.
I have been and continue to be blessed in many ways. But the challenges that my family and I continue to face threaten to overwhelm us sometimes. My father sustained a job-related injury which has prevented him from working since April 2013, and we are struggling to make ends meet. My parents’ life savings have gone into adapting our current home to accommodate my condition, but without the income to make the mortgage payments, we can no longer live at our current home. We must now move into a different, smaller home, but it will require modifications, too. We have to install a ramp and an accessible shower as well as widen doorways to fit my wheelchair – all this in addition to the stress and expense of moving.
Your help and support will make this transition much easier on my family and me. Together we are hosting an event that is meant to celebrate the blessings in our lives as well as raise funds to help us get through our current challenges.
I hope you will consider sponsoring, donating to, and/or attending An Evening for Eli (details below). Proceeds from the event will go towards expenses related to my family’s upcoming move and my continued therapy. We also plan to donate 10% of the proceeds to researchers for further spinal cord research.
I’m hoping my family and I can count on your prayerful and financial support.
An Evening for Eli
August 23, 2014/ 6:00 PM / 1019 S. May St Chicago, IL 60607
If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor or donating, please contact Maggie Magana [phone redacted]). Donations can be sent directly to
C/o Eli’s Fundriaser
3435 West 111th Street
Chicago, IL 60655
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