VINTON–For many years Dedrick “D” Rose was a familiar face at many Vinton homes and businesses delivering packages for UPS. When a new delivery person took over the route, most customers did not realize that Rose had been the victim of a debilitating accident in December 2012 which left him paralyzed. As he was climbing a fence on Christmas Day to retrieve a toy, the fence collapsed and he landed on his neck.
Rose says that his C-4 and C-5 vertebrae were pushed against his spine.
He spent many months receiving intensive treatment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a nonprofit hospital which specializes in rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injuries. It is ranked as one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the United States.
According to their website, the Center takes a “team approach to therapy to draw up a plan that helps patients learn a new way of life. Specialists help customize a package of technological solutions that maximize independence on a day to day basis. They provide lifelong support programs. They train the patients and their families in “managing ongoing medical care once they return home.”
Rose has had several surgeries and is making promising progress–slow but steady. Sensation is slowly returning. He can now use his right hand well enough to lift a fork to feed himself. He has been able to stand up for a few minutes, and can put some pressure on his foot.
He goes from his home in Floyd County to therapy twice a week at Carilion’s New River Valley Medical Center. For now, without a handicapped accessible van, just getting into his nurse’s car for the ride to therapy and back is a workout in itself.
Sandy Altis was one of those UPS customers who didn’t find out about D’s injury for several months. When she learned what had happened, she took action.
“Deliver for D” a fundraiser for Rose to be held at Woodland Place in Vinton on Saturday, November 9, is the result of her efforts.
“He did more than deliver our packages, he delivered friendship. He always had a joke, or picked at you. He learned everybody’s name in Vinton. He’s just a great guy,” said Altis.
She and the other planners of the benefit are hoping to raise enough money to provide a van with a lift or ramp, which will enable Rose to maneuver his wheelchair into the van to be transported to therapy, rather than being lifted into and out of the car. Their goal is to eventually raise $20,000 for the purchase of the van, and for medical expenses incurred in the past ten months, including the nurses who care for him and his young son six days a week.
Although she was hesitant at first, Altis researched how to conduct a fundraiser, called to tell Rose what she wanted to do and set up a fundraising site at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/deliver-for-d/83762.
Karla Turman, a member of Vinton’s Planning and Zoning staff, set up a Facebook page for D at “Prayers and Thoughts for Dedrick “D” Rose.”
Tommy and Karen Wood have donated the use of Woodland Place for the evening for the fundraiser.
“’D’ is one of those type people that you had to consider almost one of your employees,” said Wood, owner of Woods Service Centers in Vinton. “We would see “D” almost every day. He very much cared about his job, cared about our business, and practically ran the package from his truck to our business. I would say he knew most of his customers by name. When we found out about the benefit for him we were more than glad to help. He was the type of person every employer only dreams of having–a great person–and our company is honored to help him out. I’m sure Woodland will be full of others that feel the same way the Woods do.”
“D” plans to attend the November 9 fundraiser. Altis says he is very excited about the event and that “it has lifted his spirits to know that people who once were his UPS customers and many who have never met him care enough to send messages and pray for him.”
Altis says that Rose is a very “sweet, thoughtful, and appreciative person.” He especially wants to stand up and give Altis a hug.
“I can’t let all these people down,” said Rose. “I have to learn to walk again so I can go thank them.”
This is not the only fundraiser in his honor. One was held at Schooner’s Restaurant in Roanoke last spring. There is a Spirit Night coming up at the Valley View Chick-fil-A on December 5, and a motorcycle rally.
The Vinton Kroger on Hardy Road recently held a sidewalk cookout and bake sale which raised almost $1000. Some of those employees will be attending the fundraiser at Woodland Place to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. There will be pulled pork BBQ from Tony Wright, and concessions donated from Pepsi and Utz, Jerry’s Restaurant, and the Dogwood Restaurant among others.
Barry Brooks will be taking photographs. There will be a 50/50 raffle, a DJ and dancing, and a silent auction. There have been many donations to the auction including stays at Bernard’s Landing and the Natural Bridge Hotel, gift baskets, home décor items from Biltmore Inspirations, official Virginia Tech sports apparel, autographed footballs and basketballs signed by Tech coaches and players (including Frank Beamer), a baseball signed by Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, a Dan Marino jersey signed by Don Shula, and a grill from Camping World to name a few.
“’D’ has a bigger than life personality,” said Altis. “Everyone loves him.”
Altis says that Rose has chosen to look at the injury as “God giving him extra time to hang out with his son.”
Rose is from Buchanan and hopes to move back to Botetourt County soon, closer to family, as he is the single parent of a second grader, Ashton.
“’D’ enjoyed his work and he made a choice to make his job better than it might have been,” said Altis. “He took the time to get to know people, where they lived, what kind of dog they have, their pets’ names. We should all have a ‘D’ attitude.”
A donation of $15 is requested at the door (which includes dinner) or tickets may be purchased in advance.
Altis hopes that “people will come by for a while to say hello to “D” or stay for the evening.
The Woodland Place is located at 935 Niagara Road in Vinton. The benefit starts at 7:00 and ends at 10 p.m. All ages are welcome.
Anyone who can’t attend can make a donation online at www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/deliver-for-d/83762
More information is available on his Facebook page and from Sandy Altis (540)-312-1647 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are available from Altis, Turman (via Facebook), and Sun Solutions.