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Hope Is Where the Heart Is

At the EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION we’re raising funds and promoting initiatives to serve the people who need them most. We believe in taking action with urgency in order to serve our youth, community and individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in some of the most pressing issues facing today’s society. Please join us by supporting our efforts to make a measurable difference in the lives of others.

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EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION AT A GLANCE

A Distinct Identity

EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION knows that our strength lies not only in the words we stand by, but most importantly through the actions of our initiatives. Back in 2019, when our beloved Emmy was suddenly paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident, we realized that by working together we could overcome our challenges much more efficiently.  With the support of our family, friends and our community, we did not have to face this chapter of our lives alone.  We believe in paying it forward and that is why we ultimately decided to launch the EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION.  Our initiatives will impact the lives of many, with your support.

My name is Edward Willis, Junior. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. I went to Bastrop High School where I met my wonderful friend Colton at the age of 17. We decided that we were going to enlist into the military and attend Airborne School. Later, I would earn my wings. My plan was to continue school and join the Rangers. I worked very hard and had done many things in order to prepare for the Rangers. Unfortunately, availability was limited. I learned this only after I had proven that I was physically and mentally prepared. Afterwards, I was given another opportunity. A soldier within my platoon recently suffered an injury and was unable to attend Ranger school. I spoke with him, our chain of command, and I was able to fill that hole on January 1, 2016 (New Year’s Day). Fourteen days prior to shipping for Ranger school, I met up with some friends to celebrate my leaving. On our way home that evening we pulled over on a low barrier bridge as I was feeling unwell. Around eight hours later, I awoke to my new life. As I have no recollection of the event, I was later told what occurred. While we were stopped on the bridge, I had stepped out and tumbled over the side falling down into a dry creek bed. I broke my back and severed my spine. Upon hitting the ground, my knee was sent into my chin, and it fractured in three places. When I woke in the hospital, I was very confused and stunned. I had no sensation from my hips down. I began to panic and that’s when the pain hit. I was unable to take any painkillers or surgical treatment for three days as the swelling and trauma needed to go down. On the third day, a team of surgeons performed a 12-hour surgery on my spine, inserting 16 screws, and two rods. Two months after the accident, I was released from the hospital. During this time, I had slowly recovered and was attending physical therapy. I was given a wheelchair and a new outlook on life. I was told in my diagnosis that my spinal cord has been severed leaving me paralyzed and senseless from the waist down. I could no longer move my legs nor feel them. My hips were affected as well as my internal organs. Without electrical signals being sent from my brain down my spinal cord my organ function became somewhat limited. I struggled with properly utilizing the bathroom. With this change in my body I had to learn new ways in order to function. One way was with the use of certain equipment such as a standing frame. My digestive system, circulatory system, and bone density were affected not being in an upright standing position. The loss of gravity on my body began to show. So it was very important that I began to stand but I faced hurdles. Medical equipment is not only expensive but difficult to obtain whether it be through insurance or state-funded programs. I tried obtaining a standing frame for months as one would assist my body and improve my life. After some time, I lost hope. I made the decision to put my efforts elsewhere. It wasn’t until I went to go see my dear friend Colton in Victoria, Texas that things changed. While I was there, Colton introduced me to a wonderful neighbor and friend. Her name is Rosemary. We were invited over to her lovely home where I later learned of a beautiful soul; Emmy. Emmy is Rosemary’s daughter. Unfortunately, she had an accident causing her paralysis which led to other health complications, ultimately causing Emmy to succumb and pass. While it saddened me very much, I wanted to be there for Rosemary. In the end, it was she who helped me the most. She had a standing frame that was no longer being utilized and she desperately wanted to help others. Hesitantly, I asked if there was any way that I could use it. She smiled and eagerly told me that it’s what Emmy would’ve wanted. She shared that she planned to start an organization in order to get people such as myself the necessary resources and tools to benefit our lives. I would be the first recipient of durable medical equipment from the new organization. Thankfully, I was able to take it home where I was standing in it for an hour a day for several months. I noticed an increase in my energy, increased flexibility in my muscles, reduction of swelling in my limbs, an increase in circulation of blood, and a growing appetite as my digestive system began flowing properly again. This also give me back the confidence and joy of what it is like to stand. I remember the first time using it, I cried. I felt at home, and I felt free. I cannot thank the Emmy Saenz Foundation enough for providing me this impactful equipment. This encouraged me to assist others and become more active. I became a physical trainer and began playing basketball. I plan to further my physical achievement and work towards the Paralympics Games in the Triathlon event. None of these changes would have been possible without the foundation.

TESTIMONIALS

WAYS WE HELP

EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION is in the business of changing and shaping lives. The work we do at our 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization is aimed at providing a realistic approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges for individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well as other physical disabilities; students with physical and/or learning disabilities (Scholarship Opportunities) as well as proving charitable contributions to families who are faced with sudden, life-changing events to help defray Medical and/or funeral expenses.  We make sure our partners are empowered by creating opportunities for individuals and communities.  You can help us with these programs in many ways.  Contact us today to find out more about ways you can team up with us to change the lives of so many.  

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SPINAL CORD INJURY PATIENTS & FAMILIES

Helping The SCI & TBI Community

With this initiative, our goal is to promote great opportunities for those in need who have suffered from Spinal Cord Injuries and or Traumatic Brain Injuries. With access to the right resources, people with SCI & TBI can become empowered by strengthening their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their potential.  Our mission is to help make available the resources needed to recover and rehabilitate with access to therapy, medical equipment and supplies.  When families are struggling to get the most basic needs for daily care of their loved one, we are here to help close the gap in obtaining those resources.

 

 

Our initiative is also dedicated serving SCI and TBI patients with ADA compliant home modifications so they may be able to sustain a greater quality of life.   Learn more about our work by getting in touch with our team today.  We would love to have you join in on our efforts to make this initiative successful in our mission.  

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SCHOLARSHIPS

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Justine Gonzales
EMT Scholarship Recipient

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Isaiah Torres
Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Sean Worley
EMT Scholarship Recipient

Reinforcing our Commitment

With our organization’s mission always in mind, we strive to offer scholarships to students with physical, development or educations disabilities.  We believe that every student has what it takes to succeed in higher education to build a better and brighter future for themselves.  Like Emmy, many students are faced with the challenges of learning and/or physical challenges.  Many times, offering an opportunity to attend a trade school rather than a college or university is key to developing careers with a hands-on learning environment.  Though our commitment is not just focused on students with these challenges, we are also invested in helping those in financial need whom otherwise, would not pursue higher education.  Because we believe in the importance of growing our healthcare and first responders population, we are now offering scholarship opportunities in these fields of study as well as Teaching with a special focus in Special Education Services.    Contact us to learn more about our commitment to this cause.  

Estevan DeLaCruz
EMT Scholarship Recipient

Tyler Havel
EMT Scholarship Recipient

One Step At A Time

CHARITY

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Our Charity Services

At EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION, we are dedicated to stepping up our efforts in supporting our community. Sudden, life changing events can have a devastating impact on families, especially at a time when our community is already experiencing an impact of the Corona-virus Pandemic.  Overcoming financial burdens is by no means an easy feat, but through cooperation and community empowerment we believe we can help those in need take steps in the right direction to conquer in this area. We are always striving to make a difference and invite you to learn more and lend your support.

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Our Team.

CONTACT EMMY SAENZ FOUNDATION

Victoria, TX

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361-894-3998

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Working With the Best Sponsors

PLATINUM LEVEL SPONSOR (2022, 2023, 2024)

Angel Lucy's Funeral Home
CORPORATE SPONSOR
2022 - 2024

NI STEEL
Platinum Sponsor
2024

JAXMAT TRANSPORT LLC
Silver Sponsor
2024

LINDA ORDUÑA & FAMILY
Gold Sponsor
2022 - 2024

KEVLAR INDUSTRIAL
Silver Sponsor
2024

 

Sunbelt Supply Co.
Silver Sponsor
2024

El Gato Negro Rancho, LLC
Gold Sponsor 2022
Bronze Sponsor 2023 - 2024

La Original Tortilla Company
Silver Sponsor
2024

TeamOne Logistics
Silver Sponsor
2022 & 2024

 

Formosa Plastics
Bronze Sponsor
2022 - 2024

IT Gonzalez Engineers
Bronze Sponsor
2024

BRONZE LEVEL SPONSOR (2022, 2023, 2024)

Monuments of Victoria
Bronze Sponsor
2022 - 2024

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Palacios Marine Industrial
Bronze Sponsor
2022 - 2024

BRONZE LEVEL SPONSOR (2022, 2023, 2024)

Pilots Club of Victoria
Bronze Sponsor
2022 - 2024

MLC Photography
In-Kind Sponsor
2022 - 2024

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