Nember 13, 2000
College friends want to help friend's wishes come true
We are writing to tell you about a dear friend, Jill McAuley from Woodinville, and ask for your help. We first met Jill at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, in the fall of 1999 when we became roommates.
It didn't take long for us to realize Jill is a wonderful girl with a strong spirit and love for life. She led a very active life of horseback riding, singing and dancing. Her beautiful voice earned her a spot in Ricks' Collegiate Singers where she performed many solos and developed strong friendships.
Her positive attitude and optimism, along with her sense of humor and contagious smile, draw people to her.
She is a good friend to everyone she meets and sets an example for others in everything she does.
As Winter Semester came to a close and we all said goodbye, Jill prepared anxiously for a tour with the choir. They toured her home state of Washington, along with Idaho and Oregon, for two weeks performing and sharing their musical talents.
At the end of the tour, Jill returned with the choir to retrieve her things and her car. After a recording session Saturday morning, May 6, Jill drove toward Boise where her mom was waiting to continue the long drive home to Seattle.
But Jill never made it to Boise. On I-84, near Twin Falls, she fell asleep and rolled her car. Jill was immediately life-flighted to Pocatello where they made the determination that her life would be forever changed. Jill had broken her neck and was permanently paralyzed.
Most would be bitter or angry, or ask why me, but not Jill. Her smile hasn't faded and she remains the same today as she was before the accident.
Life as a quadraplegic hasn't been easy for Jill or her family. After months in ICU and rehabilitation facilities, she is making steady progress, but the road is long and hard.
Jill's level of injury is C5, so she has some movement in her right arm, which allows her to drive her chair, but she needs help with everything else. Along with constant 24-hour care, she also is in need of a power chair, special computer programs and equipment for school, continuing physical therapy along with medical care and a wheelchair-carrying van.
She is determined to lead a fulfilling and happy life and knows that the challenges she now faces are for a reason. Her greatest wish right now would be to return to college to complete her degree in music. With your help, we hope to make this wish come true for Jill.
Because of our love for Jill, we hope to alleviate the financial burden this tragedy has caused. We have planned a fund-raising event that will provide entertainment along with an opportunity to help ease this burden.
On Saturday, Nov. 18, The Standards will perform two concerts at the Rexburg Tabernacle. The Standards are best known for their performance with Michael McLean in the Forgotten Carols.
Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the door. Advance purchase of tickets and other information can be found at www.thestandards.com. The first concert will begin at 5 followed by another at 8 p.m. We would love your company at this concert. However, we understand you may be unable to attend. If you would like to make a donation, it would be greatly appreciated.
Please take or send your donations to any US Bank for deposit to the McAuley Family Fund. If there is a problem finding the account, advise the teller that it is on the US Bank Intranet.
Please, make checks payable to the "McAuley Family Fund." Your donation will help tremendously to aid in Jill's recovery and continous care. We hope you will consider this good cause and find it in your heart to donate. Together we can make Jill's wishes come true.
Paige Wade Davis, Abigail Barnes Caldwell, Jennifer Tanner, Heather Reese, Ricks College students