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I believe that your parents raise you but ultimately your friends dictate who you are as an adult and your influences. What we do as individuals is we surround ourselves with the people love. For the first 19 years my life I spent it trying to figure out who these people would be that I was going to surround myself with. Some came and went and others remained there all the time. During the time of my accident and even now it became very evident to me which individuals are my true friends. Some were there in the beginning and not so much now yet still supportive, some stepped up that weren’t there before and others just as I had thought still are and will always be there for me since day one. I have had unbelievable support from my friends, family, peers, and the community that is just overwhelming with love and it keeps me getting out of bed everyday. A few weeks ago on April 9 at 12:30 AM my dear friend Courtney Stewart was killed in a car accident, in which she was hit by a drunk driver. This all could’ve been avoided on the drunk drivers end, however it still happened. When I got the call about it I was shocked, hurt, appalled, but most of all in disbelief. It still has not quite hit me yet that one of my close friends was involved in another car accident. This yet again, has brought our group of friends much closer yet again for the wrong reason. How come something bad always has to happen, for us as people to open our eyes? I’ve always told myself that things happen for a reason, so no matter what, no matter how bad the situation is I will try and pull something good out of it. Courtney was a huge Angel fan, and the night of accident Courtney and some friends left the Angel game after watching her buddy Nick pitch. Courtney drove her car with Nick in the front seat and in the back there as a boy named Henry and Jon. They were on their way to INCAHOOTS, a country western line dancing bar where Courtney loved to dance. They got hit going through the middle of an intersection which left Courtney dead upon arrival as well as Nick and Henry, Jon remains in critical condition with ironically enough a spinal cord injury. Courtney’s legacy will continue to prove everyday what type of person she was and how many people she affected during her unedeserved short life. While dealing with all this Courtney’s mom approached me and asked that in lieu of flowers to Courtney, that donations be made to the Be Perfect Foundation in Courtney’s name. This was an amazing act of kindness after something this tragic had happened to her own daughter that she had raised and turned into an amazing young lady. The foundation has received over $10,000 in the past week in Courtneys name. Perfect. As hard as it is to see a close friend pass I will continue to find strength from this tragedy everyday and work towards mine and Courtneys goal of walking someday. Courtney was a huge supporter of mine and was a regular in the hospital and always keeping tabs on me throughout the week. There is little boy named Ian down at Project Walk who is six years old and has suffered a brain and spinal injury. He lost his mom and dad in a tragic car accident a year ago which left him injured and a two and three year old brother and sister parentless. No mom and no dad, but he will always have an angel named Courtney up in the heavens watching down on him helping him walk again. Through everything that’s going on it’s really put my life into perspective once again on whats important. It comes down to one thing, your friends as well as your family, peers and supporters. With every day that I go through life I have a realized that there’s simply no point to my life without these people in it and everything I do in a given day relates or somehow revolves around these people, which is what I’m here for and my goal in life. You guys are my strength, my purpose, my inspiration, and my reason I’m here on this earth. Not only will we walk again but Courtney I promise you we will reach our goal, and you and I will walk again. Whether it’s under my own willpower or the power of medicine and everything that’s going on stem cell right now, with the stem cell treatment that was just passed last month, we’re gonna do it. I love you very much Courtney and you will forever live on in my heart and yes I guess I am an Angel fan you were my favorite player. Shhhhhhh don’t tell Ryan or Jeremy. Go Red Sox and Lakers…..