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On October 29, 2013, five-year-old Jazzlin Mejia, and her father, Gustavo, were traveling along Highway 121 when they were involved in a serious car accident. Little Jazzlin suffered a C6, C7 spinal cord injury which left her with feeling only in her upper body. Three days after the accident, Jazz underwent spinal fusion and today remains in a wheelchair. Her dad suffered serious injuries which included two broken legs and fractured ribs. He too remains in a wheelchair as his legs heal and his future mobility is further assessed (see link below for more on this accident).

Jazz has maintained a strenuous schedule at Children’s Hospital, Oakland consisting of many sessions of speech, occupational and physical therapy six days a week while maintaining her studies with a tutor. Jazz is vivacious and bright, sweet and stronger than I ever imagined. Since the accident, I’ve been able to get to know her very close-knit family and see firsthand the challenges they will face. Prior to her accident, Jazz was a student at Mary Collins at Cherry Valley here in Petaluma (and is in my daughter’s kindergarten class) — where she returned today for the first time since she was injured. She will continue her rigorous therapy schedule even while attending school.