Last year the life of Stony Point High School football player Jasiel Favors changed at the blow of a whistle. He injured his spine and was left paralyzed. Now the community is stepping up in an effort to make his life easier.
Pep rallies are a staple in any high school experience. It's an experience that changed drastically for Jasiel last September after he collided head to head with another player.
A recent pep rally was a special one when the Favors family was formally presented with a wheelchair accessible van for Jasiel.
"Before there were issues picking me up. It was rough on my body," said Jasiel.
"The last year has been rough, very, very rough. It's rough trying to get things in and out of the car, to the doctor appointment," said Debra Favors, Jasiel's mother.
Before the family had to use a car not properly equipped for him, putting him at risk for further injury.
"When the kids started helping me pick him up I had to start lifting, and I said phew! I gained some more weight," said Debra, jokingly.
Jasiel's friends started a Go Fund Me campaign shortly after he got out of the hospital. They raised $15,000, but it wasn't enough for the van they needed. With the help of more than 200 community donors, and Wheeler Construction, they made the purchase happen.
"Football is something we all enjoy but to have this happen to someone so young it's unfortunate. It's so sad it broke my heart to hear that," Chloe Strain, who started the Go Fund Me campaign.
"It feels good knowing I have a good support team, knowing everyone is there for me," said Jasiel.
When FOX 7 last checked on him in the summer, his voice wasn't nearly as strong. Now that's a different story.
"I try to get on my vent at night, do breathing exercises stay on it, whatever it takes," said Jasiel.
You can't tell by the smirk on his face, but Jasiel Favors has been through a lot. This van can help ease a lot of stress for him now.
"There are a lot of good people in the world. I never doubted them," said Debra.
Jasiel's family is hopeful one day he will walk again. He still has a nurse visit him weekly at his home for rehab and he is able to move his fingers a bit more.
The doctor has not given a prognosis.