Supporters gather for special benefit at Smitty's Internet Cafe

Benefit helps 24-year-old who was paralyzed 2 years ago

Published On: Mar 16 2013 11:47:07 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 17 2013 12:12:42 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Family, friends and supporters gathered at Smitty's Internet Cafe on Saturday for a special benefit for a local man in need.

Money was raised for 24-year-old Kevin Whitney, a father who was paralyzed after a car accident two years ago. The hope is to make life a little easier for Whitney and his family.

Whitney had a lot of support Saturday evening at Smitty's Internet Cafe.

"We love you, Kevin," said one supporter.

Whitney said he's had a lot of struggles.

"Since then, it's just been a road of recovery," said Whitney. "Ups and downs. Trying my best to continue on."

Along with his challenges come the mounting medical bills, and the struggles to pay them.

Proceeds from the benefit will help cover the costs. They'll also help make his home more wheelchair accessible.

Whitney is already on the right track. When the benefit started, he was presented with a new handicapped van, courtesy of Smitty's.

"I've pretty much been speechless ever since," said Whitney. "You know, it's amazing."

For his mother Amy, the last year has been tough, but she said she's amazed at how her son has been able to push forward.

"He has a great spirit ever since the accident," said Amy. "Just because of that, you know, it keeps my spirits up. So we're pretty happy."

Whitney said his focus now is to get back to work and to be a great dad to his daughter, Taylor. He said he knows he can do that with all the support.

If you would like to donate to the Amy and Kevin Whitney foundation, visit the VyStar credit union and use account number 702978042.