Neighbors in Bowmantown are rallying to help the family of Chris Landers, an 18-year-old Daniel Boone High School graduate who was paralyzed from the chest down in an auto accident Memorial Day weekend in Virginia.
After surgery to repair injuries to his level C-3 and C-4 vertebrae and months of follow-up care and therapy at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville and The Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta, Chris made it home about three week ago. His father, Jeff Landers, said Wednesday he is receiving home therapy and regaining the use of his arms but still has a long road of ahead of him in his recovery.
So far the family has accumulated about $560,000 in medical bills that insurance will not cover. Chris’s dad and grandfather have modified the Landers’ home with ramps and a roll-in shower that came at a cost of $4,000 on which they are making payments. And their next big challenge will be the purchase of a van with a lift to get help Chris out and about and in to see his doctors and therapists.
Since the accident, Jeff Landers said neighbors and churches in the Bowmantown area have been there to help every step of the way. From gasoline for their many trips back and forth to Charlottesville and Atlanta to materials to make their home more handicap accessible, he said, “My neighbors have done the best they could, although everyone is having it tough these days.
“I am a grateful man and I appreciate everything people have done. When we were spending a lot of time at the hospitals, I’d tell people you’ll not meet a better bunch than the people down here in Bowmantown. When something bad happens, t hey’ll come and they’ll dig in and help you,” he said.
And they’re not done yet. On Oct. 13, beginning at 5 p.m., the Bowmantown Ruritan will host a benefit supper to help the family. The menu will include spaghetti, salad, bread and beverages provided by the club and desserts prepared by area churches. The cost of the meal will be a donation to help the Landers with expenses related to Chris’ injuries.
For those who can’t make the meal, tax-deductible donations to help family may be made by mail to Limestone Church of the Brethren, â„… Church Secretary Patty Broyles, 319 Washington College Station Road, Limestone, TN 37681. Checks may be made payable to the church and earmarked for Chris Landers.
The annual “Denim and Diamonds Fund Raiser” and $5,000 reverse raffle for Safe Passage Domestic Violence Shelter will be held from 5:45-10 this evening at Carnegie Hotel.
In addition to the raffle, the evening will include a silent auction, a country style dinner by Wellington’s Restaurant, sweets from the Duchess dessert bar, dancing, games and live music by Richard Banks. Admission is $35 per person. Raffle tickets are $100 and include admission for one person.
All proceeds will go to support the nonprofit shelter, its 24-hour emergency hot line, and follow-up counseling, transportation, referrals and advocacy to help survivors of family violence break the cycle of abuse.
For tickets or more information about the benefit, call 232-8920. For more information about Safe Passage or for assistance with domestic violence issues, call 926-7233 or visit www.safepassageshelter.org.
WXBQ and Electric 94.9 have teamed up to help provide Children’s Miracle Network services to children receiving care at local Wellmont Health System hospitals in a radiothon that will run through 7 p.m. today. Local families and children who have been assisted by the network over the past 25 years are sharing stories and announcers are inviting listeners to call in to pledge donations and to challenge others to help.
As the radiothon wraps up, the Property Experts in Johnson City and the regional division of TruPoint Bank will host an open house and silent auction to help with the fundraising, beginning at 5 p.m. at The Property Experts’ model homes site at 388 Princeton Gardens.
In addition to the auction, the event will include home tours and appearances by Miss Kingsport, Miss Bristol and Miss Tennessee Teen. Admission is free and all donations will be used to purchase equipment for Wellmont hospitals’ pediatric, neonatal intensive care unit and emergency departments and to community partnerships to advance children’s health.
If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.