Lufkin trainers raising money for injured athletes

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - No matter how well you are doing financially it is hard to prepare for a medical emergency. The UIL and high school coaches stress safety to student athletes every day, but injuries will still happen, especially on the football field.

This week Lufkin High School Sports Medicine is teaming up with 'Gridiron Heroes,' a national organization that helps families deal with the shock of a terrible spinal cord injury.

"When you have people even that were financially stable and then they have a kid that gets hurt from football, it is like a shock to them they don't know what to do," said trainer Ashlyn Athey, a Sophomore at Lufkin High School. "And I believe as humans we need to help other people get back on their feet."

Before and during halftime of Friday night's homecoming game, the students will use football helmets to take collections for players who have suffered around the country.

"I think it's really good that we get to help out people because some people can't afford it," sophomore trainer Alleah Hawkins said.

Athletic Director Todd Quick is impressed with his staffs initiative towards helping others.

"When they have organizations like this that help the family out it is big," said Quick. "And then our kids being mature enough and knowing how important it is to do this and be a part of this foundation is huge for us and I'm definitely proud of them."

Jada McBryde an Assistant Trainer at LHS was in charge of bringing the idea of helping this cause to Lufkin. McBryde said it was obvious that their was enough passion about football in East Texas to be able to help out the foundation's cause.

"We are just really excited about this first year and we just hope people really help out by donating anything from their change to a dollar, anything really," said McBryde. "Because if everyone that showed up to the game donated one dollar that is approximately 11 thousand dollars. Football is so big in Lufkin and so big in East Texas, why not bring this cause here since there are plenty of people who care about the game and can help out."

According to the Gridiron Heroes Foundation it is estimated that the average cost of surgery, hospitalization, medication, equipment and care for a spinal cord injury patient is between $100,000 to $500,000 in just the first 100 days after the injury. Lifetime expenses can often exceed $1 million.

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