MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thanks to a Vikings player, a Minnesota town is helping a family when they need it most.

Harley Carnes, 9, was in a serious car accident in March while on vacation with his mom in Florida. It happened the day before his birthday, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.

Now, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway and others are doing what they can to make the transition easier for Harley and his family.

Its the final day of Greenway’s “Day to Reach” football camp in Hutchinson. Appreciation is the theme of the camp, and the 400 kids who have signed up are about to get a lesson in exactly that.

“Harley’s been paralyzed from the neck down,” Greenway told a crowd of campers seated in the bleachers. “But what I want you to hear is he appreciates every day.”

Harley has been in and out of the hospital since the crash. Doctors gave him a 5 percent chance to survive, and he still faces a lot of challenges, but his family is getting some help.

Thanks to Jay Malone Motors, Harley’s hero and Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway gave Harley’s family a handicap-accessible van.

“$30,000 I don’t have to worry about now, is awesome,” said Harley’s mother Typhena Kimball.

After Harley got his chance to meet Greenway, he described the smile it put on his face.

“It was really, really exciting,” he said.

That’s because the van is exactly what Harley needed.

“I’m really happy that I’m back,” he said.

Kimball says she’s been overwhelmed by all the support her family has received.

“We’ve been in the hospital a long time, and it was so nice to come home,” she said. “It’s been so nice knowing — with all the support that I’ve seen online and stuff — knowing we were going to come back to a community that would be there for him.”

That’s the message that Greenway wants these kids to take home, because football doesn’t matter, if you don’t appreciate every day.

“Our camp mantra is appreciation, and I just think that really ties into what we’re trying to teach these kids at the camp,” Greenway said.

Doctors say Harley’s C-1 and C-2 vertebrae are pinched but not severed, so they’re hoping he makes progress over time.

For information on how to help, check out his Facebook page and GoFundMe page.

John Lauritsen

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