Community rallies to give paralyzed football player life-changing gift

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) – While Jasiel Favors lost his ability to walk in September 2015, he didn’t lose the support of his family, friends and teammates. A helmet-to-helmet collision left him paralyzed from the neck down.

“It makes me feel good knowing I have support to lean on, knowing I’m not alone,” said Favors. “I’ve got my family, my friends, the football team. We’re all a family.”

Despite the love and support, the road has been challenging. One of the biggest obstacles: transportation.

“It was hard trying to lift Jay,” said his mother, Debra. “Jay gained some weight! He got a little heavy, so let me tell you, I almost dropped him a couple times.”

Knowing the family was struggling, two of Jasiel’s friends stepped in to help, creating a GoFundMe account for a wheelchair accessible van.

“I can’t really help him physically, but I can be there to help him through hard times like being sick and talking with him and keeping him company,” said Noah Strain. He and his sister Chloe started the fundraising effort.

The two were able to raise $24,000, but that only covered half the cost of the van. Wheeler, a local construction business, stepped in to fill the gap, donating $29,000 to the effort.

“When we finally reached our goal, I didn’t even know what to do, it was so cool we worked together to make this happen,” said Chloe.

Jasiel says he wants their first stop to be the movies.

“It will make our life easier, just so he can be a teenage boy,” says Debra. “So when he wants to go to the store, he can go to the store. If his friends say, ‘Can he come over?’ he can go over, without me trying to pick up him in the truck.”

Debra says since day one the community has stuck by their side, and she looks forward to more milestones in Jasiel’s recovery.

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