Dallas school rallies around paralyzed student with Project 24



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Posted on December 14, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 15 at 2:39 AM

DALLAS - Students from the Dallas Independent School District are helping a young athlete regain his independence after a football accident earlier this year left him paralyzed.

Jerod Williams is now confined to a wheelchair. For his mother, taking care of him in their rental home is not doable. Arlenna Williams said the halls and showers are not wide enough to get him through.

But, seniors at Pinkston High decided to do something to change that. The figured out if everyone in the district donated 24 cents, they could build Jerod a new home. Twenty-four just so happens to also have been Jerod's jersey number. That's how the plan became "Project 24."

Students say for less than a price of coffee, people can make a difference for the Williams family.

While they have already raised more than $40,000, the goal is $90,000.

Williams said they never asked for help, but is grateful for the support. Jerod is now learning how to put on his clothes, one of the small victories he achieves daily, she said.

Watching Sunday's Cowboys game and DeMarcus Ware's injury, Williams said it was a reality check of how far her son has come.

"It just seemed as if it was the same thing that happened to Jerod," she said. "When he went limp, I said 'Jesus,' and immediately started to pray."

Jerod still gets tired easily, but said Monday he had a message for his friends.

"I love y'all, everybody at Pinkston High School," he said.

Donations to Project 24 can be made at any Bank of America location.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com