The campus community showed Badger love Tuesday in support of a University of Wisconsin student who was severely injured in a diving accident last month.
Twenty-year-old Jake Anderson, a UW junior and member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, suffered a spinal cord injury after diving off a dock into shallow water at the fraternity house Sept. 27.
Jake lost movement from his chest down, but has some movement in his shoulders and will be working with therapists to try to fight some of the paralysis. It is unclear if he will remain paralyzed or not, Anderson’s father, Mark, said.
He continues to recover from surgery and is beginning to work with a rehabilitation therapist, Mark said. He was in stable enough condition Monday to move to a hospital in Minnesota to be closer to home, he added.
“We moved yesterday … and as far as his condition, he is stabilized medically enough for the move here,” Mark said.
Patrick Roberts, Jake’s friend and a fellow Delta Upsilon fraternity brother, said they grew up in the same area in Minnesota and joined the fraternity together during their freshman year.
Roberts said Jake’s condition has continued to improve.
“I am in contact with him every day and in contact with his parents and brother. … He is getting better every day, and his spirits are still high,” Roberts said.
A benefit was held Tuesday from 3 p.m. to closing at Chasers Bar and Grille on West Gorham Street.
— Chasers Bar & Grille (@ChasersMadison) October 14, 2014
Some of Jake’s friends, who work at Chasers, helped organize a benefit fundraiser to help his family with his medical bills.
Half of the proceeds from food, and all of the tips from the waitresses and bartenders, will go to the Anderson family. Additionally, t-shirts and bracelets were sold and items like a grill, Packers tickets, video games and headphones were raffled off with proceeds going toward the family, Roberts said.
The goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness and support for Jake as he recovers.
A website called “JandyStrong” is also up to accept donations for the Anderson family.
Mark said his son is going through some difficult times, but he is positive and working toward goals each day. Jake’s family and friends said the outpouring of support they have received has been overwhelming.
“We really appreciate everything his close friends, and how much the campus … reached out and supported us,” Mark said. “He has been getting a lot of support from friends and family, and he really appreciates that.”
In addition to the fundraiser at Chasers, a candlelight vigil was held Oct. 3 at the Delta Upsilon house. A CaringBridge account was also created to share updates on Jake’s condition from family and friends.
Roberts said with support, he knows Jake will recover from his injuries.
“This is just the start of things for helping Jake, and we want to start stuff off with a big bang,” he said.