The soccer community is rallying around 16-year-old Braeden Bowering of Lacombe.
The teenager was involved in a collision near Ponoka in September that claimed the life of his 17-year-old friend and left him in pediatric intensive care with several broken bones in his lower body.
After spending three weeks in an Edmonton hospital, Bowering was able to come home to Lacombe, where he is recovering with the help of family and friends, many of whom are involved with the U17 Ponoka Storm soccer organization.
Ainsley Gray, one of the soccer parents, was among those who started the GoFundMe Lets Help Braeden Recover, which set the goal of $5,000 to help Bowering’s family deal with the costs associated with his recovery.
Gray said all the boys were close and her son immediately drove to Edmonton after he heard Bowering was airlifted by STARS air ambulance to hospital.
“My son felt the need to go up there immediately to support the families. I was able to make it there as well, and the rest of the boys came up the next day,” she said.
Gray said the Bowering’s family went through a scary time in the hospital, with doctors putting the teen into a sedated state following his surgeries.
Gray said they knew right away that recovery was going to be a long road and that they needed to help.
“Braeden is at home, which is nice, but someone needs to be here looking after him. He can’t walk and is currently in a wheelchair. That is tough on him, tough on his family and they also need to start making trips into Edmonton next week,” she said.
Gray said the goal of $5,000 would go a long way towards Bowering’s rehabilitation — much of which is not going to be covered by medicare or insurance.
“We need to be able to help, because being a one-income family is tough. They have other kids as well. Taking the burden off them is our big thing,” she said.
Gray is thankful for the support they have received so far.
“It is nice to see there are good-hearted people out there, and we want people to know they are helping a really great family,” she said.