In October of 2009, while playing in a game for Pinkston High School, freshman Jared Williams was hit awkwardly, resulting in a broken neck and spinal damage, leaving the 15-year-old paralyzed from the chest down.
While in the hospital thereafter, Williams received a call from Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback Terence Newman. Newman, who founded the Rising Stars Foundation, aimed at mentoring and providing scholarships for scholar athletes, offered Williams some words of encouragement:
“He told me to keep my head up,” said Jared, per LookToTheStars.org, “He told me he’d be praying for me.”
But Newman did a lot more than pray for Williams; shortly after the phone call, a check arrived in Williams’ family’s mailbox for $10,000 from the Rising Stars Foundation, in order to help the family with medical costs.
Then, In November, Newman hosted a Rising Stars benefit at the Gaylord Hotel and Resort in Grapevine that yielded over $115,000, $10,000 of which went to the Williamses. “There were a lot of rich people there,” Jared recalled. “All the stuff they were auctioning had a couple zeros at the end.”
When speaking of the helping hand lent by the veteran cornerback in the aftermath of the injury, Arienna Williams, Jared’s mother, finds words hard to come by, other than that, simply enough, she is thankful.
“I’d have been grateful if they would have given us $2, because it’s more than I had when I walked in the door…I’m just thankful,” she said. “That’s really the only thing I can say after all we’ve been through. I’m just thankful for all the help.”
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