Support flows for returned missionary paralyzed in mock Hunger Games

Published: Friday, June 29 2012 6:03 p.m. MDT

Tere Parra lays recovering in a hospital bed in Provo Monday, June 25, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico and has lost feeling and use of her legs after falling from a tree.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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PROVO  — The donations are coming in at a steady pace for Tere Parra, the young Mexican woman paralyzed in early June when she fell from a tree while playing a mock version of Hunger Games.

So far, about $11,000  has been raised to help with Parra's medical expenses, as she continues treatment for her broken back and shattered face. Both injuries required hours of surgery and weeks of hospitalization in a Provo hospital's intensive care unit.

Parra was in Utah visiting her sister, Eva Daniels, when the accident happened in Provo Canyon. With such pain and loss of mobility, friends and family say they'd understand if Parra, 25, was depressed, bitter or even angry at her situation.

Instead, the woman has been an inspiration to those around her and to strangers alike because of her strength, and her grace.

"There's some people who have gone to visit her in the hospital, people who have the same condition she has now," said her brother-in-law Spencer Daniels.

Earlier this week, she was moved to another area of the hospital to begin physical therapy and learn how to maneuver through life without the use of her legs.

Daniels said she has been in good spirits, and touched by people who want to help.

Cory Lovelace, a friend who is spearheading fundraising efforts, said he continues to get about 10 calls a day from throughout the United States — California, Tennessee, Indiana and Florida.

A woman from Brazil emailed, wanting to know how she could help.

In Glendale, Ariz., Judy McKinstry wrote that when she heard of what had happened to the woman, recently returned from an LDS mission in California, it touched her heart.

"But when I read of her positive attitude in the midst of what could be a great despair, it touches me even more," McKinstry said. "She is a remarkable person and I admire her courage."

Terre's story was picked up by the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom and featured in its online edition. Since then, Lovelace said the offerings of support have been even more steady.

He said he had a hunch that the woman's story would capture hearts, so he is not overly surprised at the extent of the reaction.

"I always had high expectations."

McKinstry said she prays for the woman she's not met but honors from far away.

"Young people today go from low extremes to high ones," she said. "They are either really broken or valiant servants like Tere."

Fundraisers

Friends have organized a variety of fundraisers to help with Tere Parra's medical costs. She does not have insurance. A 5K race will be held at 8 a.m. July 14 at Lakeridge Junior High School in Orem. Cost is $20. A barbecue afterward is at 11 a.m. and is $10.

On July 13, a dance at The Center in Provo costs $5. It is from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, call Cory Lovelace, 801-874-7044 or email btereslegs@gmail.com

A donation page has been set up to garner support for the woman, with a goal of raising $200,000 to help offset medical costs. As of midday Tuesday, 38 donors had raised $2,215.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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