Life is fragile, kids. Life is fragile. One day you’re a college bro having fun with friends out on a boat and the simplest move changes your life forever.
On the night of July 18th, 2015, Taylor Janssen, a rising junior at the University of Michigan, dove off of his pontoon boat into unknowingly shallow water in Lake Sherwood. He was trying to retrieve a volleyball when he broke his neck at one of the low-cervical nerves, his C5 vertebrae.
After hearing about the accident — which left Janssen partially paralyzed — Janssen’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brother and friend Seth Johnson was given the idea to organize a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe in hopes of helping Janssen and his family with some of the medical expenses.
Janssen’s fraternity brothers just wanted to raise money to help. They weren’t really sure how much they could raise but wanted to do SOMETHING. They initially set the fundraising goal at $5,000 but crushed that in the first half hour after setting the page live. They incrementally raised the goal to $150,000 and nearly $147,000 has been raised by 1,664 donors.
Fundraising on the GoFundMe account will continue but much of Michigan’s Greek life and the entire campus community have begun brainstorming other ways to raise money for Janssen.
As for Janssen’s condition, he’s improving, but there is still a long way to go.
According to friends, his oxygen levels have stabilized and doctors are working to clear his lungs and to help him regain some muscle control. “He has feeling in places they didn’t expect, so they really don’t know what his final state will be,” Johnson says.
To donate to the cause, check the official GoFundMe page.
[via USA Today]