A GoFundMe account set up to raise money to buy a service dog for a former Apache Trail High School teacher and coach reached its target goal of $3,000 in two days.
A total of $3,150 has been raised as of early Dec. 4 for the account with the heading “Coach with Brain Injury needs a Service Dog.”
Andria Howe of Maricopa set up the account to benefit her husband, Bill Howe.
“For 20 years my husband loved playing football. He was the field general at quarterback. This 20-year journey brought him around the country and Europe but now he embarks on a different journey,” Mrs. Howe said in the GoFundMe page.
“Traumatic brain injury from concussions and symptoms of (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) have destroyed memories and daily functions that you and I find easy. Everyday tasks prove to be very difficult --- getting around, self care, comfort and anxiety overrule Bill daily,” she said.
“We are reaching out to friends and family for help. This decision to reach out has not been done in haste. We have researched many options --- to which Bill does not qualify for --- and are in need of help. The way a service dog can help Bill would be walking, balance, seizures, self care, anxiety --- and most of all independence,” Mrs. Howe said.
Mr. Howe taught and coached football 2005-13 at the local charter school, Apache Junction resident Julia Van Linda said.
“‘Coach’ Bill Howe has been an incredible teacher, coach and mentor to many, many student(s) over the years. He’s helped countless people helping them discover themselves and take life by the horns in the realest way possible. There’s isn’t a student he couldn’t reach with his compassion and honesty. He served Apache Trail High school well,” Ms. Van Linda said.