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Fundraiser aims to help Maple Park native 'bounce back'

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 4:38 p.m. CDT

KANEVILLE – A fundraiser is planned to help 2004 Kaneville High School graduate Becky Nelson “bounce back” from a hit-and-run accident that put her in a coma.

Nelson’s aunt, Anne Carson, said Nelson has been at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since mid-August and she has started to follow movements, seems to recognize voices and is starting to speak a little bit. She said Nelson, who was living in the Cayman Islands at the time, was struck in a hit-and-run accident July 1, and was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on July 4.

“They said it would be a very slow process, but she is making progress,” Carson said.

She said Nelson, 28, a Maple Park native, has been in a coma ever since the accident, and Audry Buchanan of Elburn is hosting a fundraiser to help the family with medical bills. Buchanan said while she’s never met Nelson, she can relate to her situation.

Buchanan said when she was 14, she was in a car accident that left her in a coma for weeks. She started her freshman year of high school in a wheelchair.

“It struck a very, very personal note,” she said. “Even though I didn’t know [the family], my next response was, what can I do to help?”

Buchanan, who also is the singer in a rock band called Dave’s Not Here, said she started thinking about ways she and her band could raise money for Nelson, and they decided to host the “Help Becky Bounce Back Blowout” fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Kaneville Community Center, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville.

Buchanan said while the fundraiser still is being planned, she hopes to have a variety of bands playing all day, as well as food, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Several community groups have been contacted to participate, she said.

Carson said her niece’s workplace in the Cayman Islands was supposed to be covering her health insurance, but wasn’t for a reason that’s unclear to the family. She said to help pay for medical costs, the family is trying to get Medicaid approval.

“We really don’t know for certain what’s being covered so far,” Carson said.

Carson said the family has received a lot of support from the community since the accident, including a group that is selling Becky Nelson wristbands in support of her recovery. She said the family also has been working with Buchanan on the October fundraiser.

“This isn’t just a band doing a show,” Buchanan said about the fundraiser, which will be held rain or shine. “The Kaneville community stepped up and donated a place.”

Learn more

To stay up to date on Maple Park native Becky Nelson’s condition and the upcoming fundraiser for her on Oct. 20, visit the Help Becky Bounce Back Blowout Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HelpBeckyBounceBackBlowout.

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