(KATC) — Dwayne Richard’s Dwayne’s Dream Team is doing wonders across Acadiana this holiday season. Learn the story behind this charity’s message and how Richard’s influence is changing families lives this holiday season.
It’s been said that everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. For Dwayne Richard and his family, their battle began a little over a year ago.
“About a year ago I was helping a friend cool seal a roof in Church Point and I slipped and fell off,” says Richard. “I had multiple injuries.”
And that’s putting it lightly. Dwayne spent the next 6 weeks in a hospital bed. Four of those weeks he spent in intensive care.
As Dwayne’s health improved, another problem arose. Unable to work and without health insurance, the Richard’s took on thousands of dollars in medical bills.
“I’m on my 15th surgery now,” says Richard. “Facial reconstruction and on both arms and one leg.”
Dwayne spent much of the following year going to rehab three days a week to try and get back as much function in his arms and leg as he could.
“It’s still not at 100 percent but what I have now is what I’ve got,” says Richard. “My arms don’t work quite like they should anymore.”
Despite his long road to recovery, Richard says he always remains positive.
“People would ask me as I’m going through rehab, ‘how you doing?’ and I’d be like, ‘Man, I’m doing fine’,” says Richard. I’m sitting here in a wheelchair with rods sticking out my arms and my buddy was like, ‘man, just one time I’d like you to hear you say it’s horrible.’
But Dwayne says that he was grateful that he was alive, “you can’t ask for anything more.”
During his recovery, Dwayne was motivated by a desire not to walk but to run in a local 5k race.
He started receiving sponsors from people inspired by his story. Dwayne put the funds into a charity named after him by a family friend called Dwayne’s Dream Team. The charity helps those who have fallen on hard times.
The Dream Team have already helped several people in Acadiana including a Crowley family who had their Christmas gifts stolen and young woman diagnosed with lupus who was struggling to pay her electric bills.
The Richards headed to New Iberia to visit the Segura family who recently lost their home in a fire.
“We got a whole bunch of gifts for the kids, and we’re bringing them a meal.”
Why does he do this you might ask? Well, after Dwayne’s accident a family friend did the same thing for him. Holding a fundraiser to raise nearly $25,000 to pay for Dwayne’s hospital bills. Now he’s hoping to pay it forward.
“It’s just something I wanted to do to try and help somebody out,” says Richard.
It’s said that everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. But for Dwayne Richard, his battle is one worth knowing.
“I never thought we could come and do something like this,” says Richard. “It’s just so exciting to see those smiles on those little girls’ faces. better than anything you could imagine.”
Richard says that people make their own happiness, and he continues to spread his happiness regardless of the circumstances.
“Tough times don’t last,” Richard says. “Tough people do.”
With Santa’s help, Richard hopes to bring a little holiday cheer to everyone.