This archived article was written by: Willy Woodruff
Heroes are what we make of them. For some, a hero is one who wears colored underwear on the outside of their clothes. For others, it is an athlete who has accomplished much. All can agree, a hero is one who has overcome a great trial or adversity. One, who in the face of danger, whether that danger is physical, mental or emotional or whether it is facing a loss or utter humiliation, overcomes. At the time they may not know how, but they always find a way.
I have few heroes. It takes loads to impress me to the point where one may be immortalized as a hero. CEU alumni, Kris Sanford is one of my heroes.
Many of you don’t know Sanford, nor know his story. For those of you who do, it is very difficult to find a negative word to say about him. Asking around, some of you said he was “always really motivated” and would “always say ‘hi’ to everyone.” Of my personal memories, he was my red-headed twin, who wanted to compete at sports. We would always have a good laugh when we were together. He always had a good attitude about everything and has recently shown this to its most extreme.
At the end of last school year, on the Friday before finals, he went home to help a friend move. While driving, Sanford and a friend were towing a full trailer, hydroplaned, causing their vehicle to roll. In the accident, his condition was unsure and he was rushed to the hospital. At first appearance, he looked normal with a few bumps and bruises. What happened internally was catastrophic. Sanford dislocated his spine and rendered paralyzed from the neck down. Although he has some movement in his extremities, it is very limited. Most things that we take for granted, like texting and typing, are marathons in strength and focus to him. Through it all, Sanford has been a positive pillar for many to lean on, myself included. Never a nay-sayer through the ordeal, he would be the first to say he was going to get through it all.
After months upon months spent in the hospital, being transferred from hospital wing to hospital wing, attending grueling hour upon hour at physical therapy with few results, Sanford persevered. With all the professional help that he has received in the form of trained medical and recuperative staff, bills have added up. Despite insurance, the Sanford family has a great deal of financial stress on their plates. It is our duty to pay them back, in some small form.
In light of circumstances, SUN Center has organized a fundraising program so we can help out. On the 26th of September, during a home volleyball game, there will be an opportunity for the community and campus to gather funds together to benefit Kris and his family. Please come show your support for the volleyball team and Kris. There will be opportunities for all to show their support. Prior to the volleyball game, there will be a chance to donate. The CEU Wildman, located in the Student Center, will be giving all contributed funds to Kris and his family. It will have a picture of Kris to show where you can donate.
Hero or not, we each should be willing to give from the bottom of our heart. The money given will not change his outlook on life. It won’t fix paralysis. It may even be so insignificant that it barely makes a dent in the financial stresses. What it will do is it will give each of us to show what a hero is worth, what we could give back to him for the many lessons he has taught us.