DUXBURY (CBS) – In a matter of seconds Kody Peraita’s world was turned upside down. Celebrating Memorial Day weekend at a California beach in 2011, Peraita dove into the ocean.
The 16-year-old, talented baseball player hit a sandbar hidden beneath a wave, suffering a C4-5 spinal cord injury. The prognosis – quadriplegic.
“It was devastating, he was hooked up to everything. We didn’t know what the future was going to hold for him,” his aunt Jenn Anderson told WBZ-TV.
“Little things like feeding yourself changes. Wanting to get in the pool or river is different now,” Peraita told WBZ.
He began therapy at Project Walk, a paralysis recovery center in California. He spends three days a week strengthening his upper and lower body. The progress comes at a high cost, one that insurance does not cover.
Three-thousand miles across the county, the community of Duxbury rallied around the Peraita family.
Cody’s Aunt Jenn, a Duxbury resident, along with friends organized The Kup for Kody, a hockey tournament to raise money for Kody’s care at Project Walk.
“We’d do anything for one another, we have a really close knit group of friends here,” says family friend and former NHL player Mike Mottau.
“It goes to show you the type of people that play hockey, great community, compassion, loyalty. It just took off.”
Now in it’s third year, Kody says the tournament has kept him on his feet, even walking up stairs and reaching for more.
“I would like to be a teacher for U.S. history, live life and don’t ever be stuck in your chair and think you can’t do something,” says Kody.
The Kup for Kody is this Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Pilgrim Skating Arena in Hingham.
For more information on tickets and how to donate visit kupforkody.com