A Waco restaurant is hosting a fundraiser on Friday for a University High School graduate who was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Christmas Eve.
Bubba’s 33 will donate 10 percent of its food proceeds to the Rivera family to help pay for medical expenses.
"We jumped on board and anything to do to alleviate some of the financial stress, we were down to help,” Bubba’s 33 Local Store Marketer said Mark Shaw said.
University High School Soccer Coach Mike Chapman who was Rivera’s coach spearheaded the fundraiser.
“There is a saying: ‘Once a Trojan, always a Trojan and that is so true. We are a family here and we will take care of each other, whether you are in school or not in school,” Chapman said.
He remembers Rivera as a talented player who always had a positive attitude.
“What I always remember about Juan is a smile. He's always in a good mood. I mean he didn't have bad days even today at the hospital,” Chapman said.
Juan Rivera who is recovering at the intensive care unit at Baylor Scott & White at Hillcrest is now paralyzed from the neck down.
His mother, Alejandra Rodriguez, said she feels bad to see her 19-year-old in that condition.
“It’s hard to see him like this, in bed, without being able to move,” Rodriguez said.
The mother of four who is not going to her job anymore has remained at the hospital with him since he was admitted to the hospital. One of Rivera’s siblings took a part-time job to help the family with medical expenses.
Rivera who is uninsured has a long way to recovery but Rodriguez said she plans to be by his side every step of the way.
“He says he’s going to walk again and he is not going to be like this for the rest of his life. If he’s strong, I have to be strong too,” Rodriguez said.
Rivera is expected to go to a facility in Dallas or Houston to start his rehabilitation process.
The event will go from 11 to 9 p.m. on Friday.
If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can also donate here
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