SALISBURY, N.C. - A local group plans to raise money to give a teenage boy a new prosthetic leg this weekend.
That teen is using his own experience of losing his leg to help others in similar situations.
Channel 9 saw how he is making a difference in the lives of local veterans – most of whom are decades older than he is.
Thirteen-year-old Drew Hastings spends hours each week at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.
“I come about three times a week just to the VA, just to go outside and talk to the vets,” Hastings said.
He volunteers with veterans who, just like Hastings, are adjusting to life after losing a limb.
“Some of them are in a depressed shell, and I can just come in there and break that shell and completely turn their attitude around,” he said.
Drew lost his left leg when he was 7 after a car hit him.
Eyewitness News was there in 2008, months after the accident.
Drew was confident back then that he would overcome the injury.
“I want to be on a track team and play football,” he said.
Drew’s wishes have come true because of his determination and a prosthetic leg.
“It’s been tough, you know, switching legs and just getting used to walking on an artificial leg.”
Now, Drew is giving home to veterans like Jack Fox.
“He’s a wonderful young man,” said Fox.
The 80-year-old Navy veteran is preparing to receive a prosthetic leg, too, and he is overwhelmed by Drew’s support.
“He knows about the stuff that is going to happen when you take the leg off because he went through it. I appreciate every minute I spend with him,” Fox said.
Members of the community are holding a charity bike ride on Saturday for Drew to help him buy a new prosthetic leg because he has outgrown his current one.
“This one is getting too small. You know, it’s football season and baseball season, so if I don’t get a new leg then I’ll be out and be on the couch. I won’t be able to play the sports that I’m playing,” Drew said.
The veteran hopes the community comes out to show support for the boy who has done nothing but the same for him.
“Everything that Drew has done for me, I can work 20 years and never repay what he has done. He is a wonderful young man,” Fox said.
Drew’s Ride to Run will start at Tilley’s Harley-Davidson in Salisbury on Saturday.
All proceeds will be used to purchase a prosthetic leg and for medical bills.
Drew’s “Ride to Run” fundraiser starts at Tilley’s Harley Davidson in Salisbury, on Saturday Oct. 19.
For more information, click here:
Drew’s “Ride to Run” fundraiser starts at Tilley’s Harley Davidson in Salisbury, on Saturday October 19th. For more information, click here:
Family Focus: Teen who lost leg dedicated to helping local veterans
Videos of deadly encounter between CMPD officer, Keith Scott released
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE: CMPD chief says Keith Scott had gun, marijuana
Keith Scott's fingerprints, DNA, blood found on gun, police sources say
Panthers vs. Vikings declared extraordinary event by CMPD