The Shepherd Center is recognized as one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the country. It specializes in treatment, research and rehabilitation for those who have suffered spinal cord or brain injuries.
Supporters came together yesterday to help with expenses not covered by insurance. A donation of $100 (the cost of an hour of therapy at the Shepherd Center) was requested at the event organized by his aunt, Robin Coppola Shelgren. The outpouring of support began long before the open house, when people began sending checks to Jared’s fund at the Reading Cooperative Bank in his hometown of North Reading.
Coppola will receive three hours of intensive therapy five days a week for the next two months. In addition, Jared will need food and lodging in Atlanta. Vinwood Catering, owned by the Delisle family, donated the refreshments for the open house, and former Prep captain Ryan Delisle came to support his former teammate.
“Seeing Jared walk to the podium and hearing him say he can’t wait to get out of his chair (to a standing ovation) was beautiful,” said Delisle, who now plays for Harvard. “He has come so far from that day when it happened. He’s a great kid and I know he is going to make even more progress because he works so hard.”
Students at St. John’s Prep raised money to help Jared and presented a check to cover the first 24 hours of therapy.
“I still remember the day it happened,” said Prep football captain Lucas Bavaro, who will play at Dartmouth in the fall. “Jared has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and we all wanted to come out to support him.”
Shelgren said she was very pleased with the large turnout and the support her nephew received. She said donations will provide funds to cover most, if not all, of his expenses.