Celebration! Then Tragedy...
On September 29th, 2016, after a lengthy legal battle, Bill and Jodie Szabo celebrated the adoption of their 2 year old granddaughter, Ella. The next day, tragedy struck. Driving home from work, Bill was involved in a multi-car accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Bill is now paralyzed from the neck down, and he is waging war against his condition so he can honor his commitment to raise his little girl.
Bill and Jodie need to invest approximately $150,000 in a vehicle, wheelchair, and home medical equipment in order for Bill to live independently. We are beginning with a modest goal of $25,000 in hopes of going even further beyond.
Why should you care?
Why do we care?
- Ella is an amazing young lady who has seen some rough times before her 3rd birthday.
- Bill and Jodie fought long and hard to legally adopt Ella. Tragedy quickly followed their legal victory.
- The unexpected expenses associated with Bill's care far exceed their income.
- The state recently informed Bill and Jodie that they do not qualify for state assistance with their medical expenses, including vehicle and home conversion.
- Bill and Jodie have two other granddaughters, the loves of their lives.
Bill and Jodie moved to Minnesota in 2007, and Bill began umpiring baseball with us in 2008. He made a big splash in our group, racking up 3 ejections in his first month with us. At first, we thought we might have signed up a trigger-happy wildcard, but we quickly came to know him as a hard-working guy who enjoyed giving his time and skills back to the game of baseball. A guy who was never afraid to ask tough questions and learn tough lessons in order to become the best umpire that he could be. And if you're wondering, those first three ejections were totally justified! :) As we take the field in 2017, we want to help a fervent umpire who is unable to take the field with us.
In his time with us, Bill umpired college, high school, and amateur baseball. We are grievously saddened by the tragedy that has struck Bill, and we want to do all that we can to help him conquer his new challenges and honor his commitment to raise his sweet little girl. We are appealing to all people across our baseball communities to please share the word about Bill and Jodie so we can help them raise Ella... and Bill again! No amount is too small!
You don't have to be an umpire for Bill's story to ring home, and you certainly don't have to be an umpire to donate! But here are some numbers to put things in perspective. There are roughly 100,000 amateur baseball umpires in the USA. If all of them donated just $1.50, it would dramatically improve the Szabos' outlook.
Please chip in what you can and share Bill's story!