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Why He’s Asking Strangers on the Street About Helmets

To the kids (and adults) without helmets:

Going for a bike ride? Headed to the skate park? Jumping on the back of a Harley? Think twice, my friends, no matter how old or young, or big or small you are. I’m here to share with you a personal story, one that will hopefully inspire you to put on that helmet before you go on your next ride.

I’m a religion teacher at a church near my home in Munster, Indiana, and at this church is where I met a little boy named Cody, and his big sister, Korey. At the time, both the kids were very young, and it was one of my first years teaching. I could tell from the moment I met these two adorable kids, they were going to go places and do things in life.

What I didn’t know is that it would take a massive catastrophe for their new journey to begin.

One night, early in June of 2014, Cody and his dad were out for a bike ride near a skate park in their home town. Cody decided he wanted to try going (slowly) down a small ramp. First few seconds: fine. Next: boom. Cody’s front tire on his bicycle had slipped off the ramp, and Cody toppled over. He wasn’t in much pain, but his mom ran to check on him anyways, because he suffered from asthma. Then, into the car, and to the nearest urgent care center they went, just to be sure nothing was wrong.

Sure enough, as the doctors looked Cody over, they noticed several fractures in his neck, back, and ribs, and one rather major fracture in his skull. Cody wasn’t in much pain at the time, but the next thing the family heard took the wind from their sails. Cody needed brain surgery, as he had suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Over the next six days Cody stayed at their local hospital receiving the care and attention he so desperately needed.

All of this, just because he wasn’t wearing a helmet? Yes. All of this.

Word of Cody’s injury spread quickly throughout the area by way of mouth, and of course, Facebook. Soon after the accident, the family started two Facebook pages: Cody’s Medical Updates and Helmets for Cody. (Please visit the second Facebook page to learn more about the accident.)

The next thing on Cody’s to-do list will warm your heart.

After all of the surgeries, hospital stays and pain complications, Cody wanted to help others. His goal was to make sure that no other child, nor adult, for that matter, would have to go through all of the terrible things he did. He started approaching strangers, people on the streets, and sharing his story, and asking people to wear helmets to protect themselves from these types of dangerous incidents.

I’ve now taken it upon myself to help spread awareness for TBIs and Cody’s story.

I’m sure he’d love to see some new photos of people wearing their helmets because they heard about his story, and want to make a difference, on his Facebook page, Helmets for Cody.

He’s a 9-year-old boy making a big impact on the world. The least we could do is help brighten his smile, and put hope in his heart, so that kids in the future won’t go through all that he did.

If you, or a loved one you know, do not have a helmet, and plan to ride anything other than a car in the near future, PLEASE get a helmet, and wear it. It could very well save your life.

Post your photos to Facebook with the hashtag: #HelmetsForCody and tell them Katie sent you! It would mean so much to me, and even more to my little friend Cody, and his family, if you would do this for us!

Thank you, and remember to wear your green next March to show your support for TBI research and brain injury awareness!

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