Friends raise money for 16-year-old paralyzed after sledding acc - FOX 13 News

Friends raise money for 16-year-old paralyzed after sledding accident

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

A day of fun in the snow took a terrible turn for one valley teen.

She's bound to a wheelchair and Saturday she left the hospital for the day to link up with friends and loved ones who were holding a fundraiser for her.

16-year-old Katrina Gerser made her way towards a cheering crowd of friends and family.

"It's so encouraging, I feel so blessed and loved right now," said Katrina Gerser.

The moment of love overshadowed the tragedy that happened during Christmas break.
Katrina was with friends playing in the Flagstaff snow when her life changed forever.

"I was in a sledding accident a month ago and I'm growing each and every day with my recovery and I feel amazing right now," said Katrina Gerser.   

She is paralyzed from the waist down.

Friends at Sierra Verde Elementary School want to help the girl they say puts others first.

"Katrina is the nicest person I've ever met. She is so sweet and caring. She always thinks about other people first," said Shannon Ashmore, Katrina's friend.

The family's home needs remodeling for wheelchair access and a new vehicle to accommodate it too.

Donations are being collected and the valley's imperial construction company donated supplies.
    
"It's amazing. It's overwhelming, but in a good way. We don't feel like we have to do this journey alone," said Jenny Gerser, Katrina's mom.

Jenny Gerser is a teacher at Sierra Verde. Her first graders led Saturday's walk for Katrina.

The teen is no stranger to perseverance, she had a coronary transplant a year ago.

"This is just another speed bump on this journey. There has to be a reason we are on this path," said Jenny Gerser.

"If I inspire others and touch other people's lives, that's what I am meant to do," said Katrina Gerser.  

Katrina is an optimist, holding on to hope while she recovers.

"[I] have to keep moving day by day, I have faith I will get better, Whether I'm walking or in a wheelchair. Everyday I grow and everyday I will get better," said Katrina Gerser.

Gerser will leave the hospital and return home by the end of next week.

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