April 4, 2008

A great loss in the freestyle skating community

Below is a letter from Erin Hyser of Skatepile.com who has written to us with the sad news of the recent death of Josh Waggoner, a member of Skatepile's freestyle skating community (a.k.a. aggressive rollerblading). He was not wearing his helmet during the accident. This group is "doing all we can to try to change the stigma associated with helmets and freestyle skating" and have asked all the shops in their sport to sell helmets at cost for a week in honor of Josh.

If you are an employee or owner of a shop that sells helmets, The Safety is Sexy Campaign asks that you join this effort in honor of Josh Waggoner.

Dear Friends and Family,

Most of you are aware of the loss the freestyle rolling community suffered last week. On March 26th at about 2:30pm a dear friend of our family, Josh Waggoner, fell while street skating. The fall was to his ribs first and then Josh hit his head. He was immediately knocked unconscious. We got the phone call at about 3:30pm and gathered our kids to head to the hospital for what we thought was a concussion and maybe some stitches.

Upon arriving to the hospital we found out from Josh’s mom, Vicki, the severity of the situation was far worse. Tom and I thought it was best that he took the kids home and got them to bed. I stayed at the hospital with about 100 of Josh’s closest friends and family. At about 1:00am a hospital patient representative came into the room and told us the most unfortunate news we never wanted to hear. Josh was not going to make it. He continued to be on life support while the family and hospital staff quickly made preparations for organ donations.

By being an organ donor Josh helped save at least 6 other lives. We were able to find out that his heart was given to a person in their 30's in Georgia. His liver was given to two children in Florida. His lungs are breathing in Virginia. It is just like Josh to still be giving in this way.

Josh was only 17 years old. He was such a great young man. He was Bella and TJ's babysitter. He was an employee of Skatepile and a rider for Rollerblade too. Josh was very special to our family. He had so many close friends. He was loved by so many people.

I'm writing today to see if you can find it in your heart to help his family. Josh leaves behind his mother - Vicki, step-father - Eric, 13 year old brother - Brent, and 8 year old twin sisters - Ashley and Allison.

I have set up a Paypal account that is taking donations for the family. All monies will go to them to help with medical expenses, funeral costs and day-to-day living expenses. Pass this email on to anyone you think might help. Thank you so much!!! Please click here if you would like to make a donation. Or you can visit Skatepile.com.

Peace and love,

Erin Hyser

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