ROUND ROCK - The family of a Round Rock ISD football player who was paralyzed during a game last year received a wheelchair-accessible van on Friday.
Jasiel Favors fractured three vertebrae during a Stony Point High School junior varsity football game on September 2, 2015, leaving him paralyzed below the neck.
Friday, the community held a pep assembly to present the van to Favors.
"Now I get to be mobile again, hang out, just be normal," said Favors.
It's a game changer for the teenager who loves to be surrounded by friends.
"I don't want to be stuck in the house and get cabin fever, get discouraged about my situation that I may never walk or move again, so it's important for me to be out, hang out with my friends and family," said Favors.
"It's going to help him in more ways than one," said mom Debra Favors.
Classmates and friends of Favors Noah and Chloe Strain set up a GoFundMe account and GoFundMe account and raised money to cover the cost of a special van to accommodate his wheelchair. The fundraiser reached its goal of $15,000, but the family still had trouble finding a van in the price range.
"I feel really happy that he's finally able to get out of his house, and do things because I feel like after the accident happened he was cut off from a lot of people," said Chloe Strain.
As of October 2016, 202 additional donors contributed to the campaign bringing the total to $24,000, halfway to the cost of the van the family needed.
Wheeler, a locally-based construction company and building materials supplier, heard about Favors and reached out to his family offering to cover the remaining cost of the van. Wheeler worked with MobilityWorks, the provider of the van, to cover the remaining $29,000.
"There's a lot of good people in the world," said Debra Favors.
Jasiel has a message.
"No matter how hard the situation is, don't give up, it's just an obstacle in your life," said Favors.
"Following the news and hearing about everything the Favors family has been through really hit home with us. Many of us have children Jasiel’s age and as a parent, you can’t help but put yourself in their shoes and want to do everything you can to help. It’s amazing to see how the local community has come together to support him. It was really important to us that we come together as a group and do what we could to make sure that Jasiel and his family have a safe, reliable form of transportation," said Wheeler President Brandon Smith.
RRISD officials, MobilityWorks, Wheeler and the Stony Point High School Principal and football coach presented Favors with the van at Stony Point High School Friday afternoon.
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