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College tuition for Joseph Mangan

Organized by: Joseph Mangan

Joseph's Photo

THE STORY:

In the blink of an eye, your life’s course can be dramatically affected. One winter day an ordinary basketball play led to an event that changed my life. On a chilly December morning I sauntered out of the hotel onto slick, icy covered concrete. Last night’s ice storm led to our game being postponed. I slipped on my warm Wildcats varsity jacket and my headphones as I excitedly anticipated the games ahead. My team hopped into the vans and headed off for a double header. The first game was a conference game. Whoever won would be placed as the second seed in the February Midwest Christian Homeschool Conference tournament. The Cincinnati Trailblazers, the nastiest team in our conference, were the victims to my best game every season. As we arrived at the court and began to warm-up, I wouldn’t miss a single shot. I had waited all year to play them. Last year I had my career high with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists and lead our team to a 5 point win in a very close game. On this normal winter day I was prepared to successfully execute plays that I had routinely practiced thousands of times. The game was set to start, and I was prepared to carry through the game as I normally did. As the ball flew up, I jumped and tipped it back to our point guard. Making a quick back cut to the hoop, I received the perfect alley oop and laid the ball off the glass. We had the lead and wouldn’t lose it for the rest of the game. I hit 4 jump shots, and we were up by 8 at halftime. During the third quarter, I connected on a three pointer from the corner. There were 10 seconds left in the quarter, and I was matched up against their star player. As he set to attack for the final shot of the quarter, I poked the ball loose. I was able to chase it down and lay it in the hoop at the buzzer. We went into the final quarter with a 10 point advantage. A few minutes into the fourth quarter, their best player caught the ball at the top of the key. I closed out hard to guard him and to prevent the three point shot. Little did I know how much my life would change in the next split second. This was about the 10,000 closeout of my basketball career. But this closeout was to turn out far unlike any other. I found myself in severe pain on the ground. Everything was black. I wondered if I should just lay there or get up. After a while I decided to get up and walk over to the bench. With blood gushing out of my mouth, my vision blurry, tears rushing down my sweaty face, and my depth perspective off, I hardly made it. My teammates helped clean up my bloody jersey and face, and I tried to talk but they said they couldn’t understand me. My speech was extremely slurred. Not remembering what just happened, I laid down crying nonstop for hours. I could not control my emotions. This was one of the side effects of a concussion. Eventually, I found out that I had been knocked out by an elbow from their best player. Carrying through the game as I usually did, I suffered a concussion that changed my life. The concussion profoundly impacted my life. For four endless months, the doctor ordered bed rest. I had to relearn how to walk and I struggled with its restrictiveness in all aspects of my life. To do what was prescribed, I had to become a vegetable. I had to totally rest my brain which meant that I could not read, do school, or exercise. I missed church for multiple months, and couldn’t work a full shift at the library for months. I questioned God a lot. Enduring great pain, I just wanted to end my life. The sharp headaches felt like a knife stabbing into my brain over and over again. I struggled through everyday life and constantly wanted to end my life. It took time but now, I realize that my suffering was a blessing in disguise. God taught me so much through it all and used it to benefit me in so many ways. Family relationships improved, and it made me more thankful. Twenty months later, it still affects my everyday life. Headaches, dizziness, and loss of vision haunt me. I still struggle but have learned to work hard and push on regardless. I previously was counting on a basketball scholarship but my dreams came to an end after the tragic accident. This experience has given me the ablity to make the most of every gift and good opporunity I recieve, not only for myself but to give back to the community. I am now involved with helping at food banks, volunteering at luncheons at my church, and helping tutor fellow students in high school. In the picture you can see me giving gifts at hospitals to thank all the doctors and nurses for their hardwork and to show them how much of a blessing they are towards  all of us.

      This is where you guys come in. I am currently trying to fund raise to help pay for my college tuition this fall. I have been working 48 hours a week to save up money but still wont make the gap to pay it all. With your help I will be able to fulfill my dreams of becoming an engineer! I lost a year of schooling because of my concussion and it would be a blessing not to only be able to take a few college classes since I have to pay all 5,000 this school year. If you would like proof of my enrolling in college please contact me at jcym97@gmail.com I am extremely grateful for whatever you can contribute, Joseph Mangan

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Joseph Mangan

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