TWENTY-ONE swimmers are taking to the water this weekend to raise money for a Landsdale resident injured in a car accident nearly six years ago.
Warrick Proudlove (24) has used a wheelchair since a car he was a passenger in crashed in 2011.
Harry Garland is one of many friends of the former footballer who have rallied to help the family provide care for Warrick.
He has raised $53,000 in the past two years by completing the Rottnest Channel Swim and this year has organised a team of 21, which includes Warrick’s brother Mark, to do the swim, .
“I was pretty keen to do something for Warrick and his family and it was always something I wanted to do too,” he said.
“When you see a mate that needs some help you’re always keen to do what you can.”
Mr Garland is hoping to raise $10,000 for Proudies Foundation, which funds Warrick’s ongoing 24-hour care including physiotherapy, medication and mobility equipment.
He said it was rewarding to be able to help the Proudlove family and encouraged others to do the same.
“I would encourage them to donate because if they knew anyone in the same situation as Warrick, if they or their family member was in the same situation they would want the same support,” he said.
“It also highlights how things can change in the blink of an eye.”
Mark was drawn to compete in the swim after being a spectator last year and praised Mr Garland’s support.
“He’s a pretty special person to step up and do it for the family,” he said. “I can’t thank him enough.”
The family remain positive, despite recently losing their final bid to secure compensation by suing the driver of the car Warrick was travelling in when the accident occurred.
Mark said it was difficult seeing what happened to his “little brother” but he, his parents and sister remained close. “It definitely plays on my mind sometimes but I just try to be positive for them,” he said.
His mother Trish is Warrick’s fulltime carer and said people did not realise how much rehabilitation he required and how expensive it was. “We struggle to pay our bills let alone provide any extra care for Warrick,” she said.
Mrs Proudlove said they appreciated Mr Garland’s repeated efforts and the support they received from Warrick’s friends.
“I’m absolutely blown away; we’ve just been blessed with these young people,” she said.“We’re so, so grateful for the help and the enthusiasm they put behind this.
“Every little thing helps keep us on track and gives us some hope for Warrick’s future.”
To donate, visit bit.ly/2lUFGQ5.