Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well On Our Way

Great response to my last post putting out a call to the San Diego hockey community and beyond.  As you may recall, our friend Brandon Nevarez, a junior at San Diego State University, was planning to not play hockey for the Aztec's club team this year, after playing hockey every season for most of his life since probably the age of six.  Again, this was due to the hardship that has befallen his family due to a massive stroke suffered by his dad a couple of years ago.

I was at a preseason exhibition game last Friday night for the Aztecs.  Brandon was playing.  I saw his parents and went to say hi.  They then told me Brandon was only playing tonight, but would not be able to play this season due to their financial situation stemming from Robert's stroke.  By the way, not to embarrass, Robert, but I'm pretty sure he was visited by an angel during his hospital stay.  He went in for surgery, experienced a blood clot, which went to his brain.  He then fell into a coma, only to then suffer a massive stroke.  Robert's life was over.  The doctors were saying, if he survived he would surely be brain dead.  I was talking to Robert's wife, Barb and she was telling me that they were preparing to have him moved because the facility where he was staying was not authorized to "pull the plug".  That's how far gone he was.

And then he woke up!  So that was good.

It's been a couple of years and Robert is a living, walking miracle.  Things are still difficult for him, but he's an amazing human being, as are his wife and kids.

Anyway, back to the task at hand.  I started this fund raising effort the next day after the exhibition game.  That was Saturday night.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but then Keli, an online Scrabble partner from Canada sent me a message that she would like to donate.  Cool.  Then a few minutes later I got a message from Phyliss in Bonifay who offered to send a check.  Then Paul, whose son plays defense for SDSU with Brandon pledged $100.  Then Greg, a dentist from Scripps Ranch and hockey player/dad/coach made a pledge.  Next Brian, one of Brandon's youth hockey coaches who now lives in NY State offered to contribute $500.  Paula, Karen and Mike, all hockey parents from San Diego contributed.  Dan, another Canadian Scrabble friend and Montreal Habs fan donated.  Marty, Greg and Tim, all San Diego adult league players chipped in.  Larry, Jamie, Skyler and Debi...all friends and hockey families who grew up with Brandon were next.  I've heard from the professional San Diego Gulls All-time scoring leader.  Dave, who's daughter plays D1 hockey for Union College and son is also the goaltender for the Aztecs is making a meaningful donation.  (just got back from my mail box-Checks from Frances, Danny & Monica, Mike and Paula!!!  Thanks you guys!)

Last night I contacted Brandon to let him know what was happening.  I asked him how would he like to play this year.  He responded that unfortunately he was not going to be able to.  I broke the news to him about the generosity of you all and he was speechless.  The first thing he said was how could he thank everyone. So we've made a young man, his family, his teammates and his coach very happy.

The season and home opener is this Friday at the Kroc Center at 9pm vs. Long Beach.  Come out and support the Aztecs and Brandon(#18) and please keep sending money!!!! Still need about $1000.

Update: Tuesday morning, 9 am.  I just called Brandon's parents.  I wanted to make sure it was ok with them that I disclosed the above story about Robert.  They hadn't heard yet about what we are doing here, so I got to break the news to them.  They were stunned.  I asked them what they were doing Friday night. Nothing.  How about going to the hockey game.  Well, since Brandon isn't playing they aren't going...What if I was to tell you Brandon is playing.....ta da!!  So we'll see the whole family at the game.

Hope to see you too.

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