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Resident forming support group for auto crash victims

By Staff | Jan 5, 2009

Esther Gallup is trying to do something good for a close friend.
Holly Aloia, 20, was in a horrible car accident two years ago, suffering a host of injuries she has fought back from. Through rehabilitation, she graduated high school and is now preparing to enroll in college.
Gallup wants Aloia to take her rehabilitation efforts further, hoping she will have the opportunity to meet some new friends in Cape Coral.
Gallup thinks there is no place or organizations in the Cape for people who have been victims of car accidents, or have other disabilities, to get together and spend time with one another.
“Where does a handicapped girl go to meet people?” Gallup asked. “I checked everywhere. I checked nine different churches and found nothing. So, I decided we should form our own support group.”
Gallup hopes the freshly dubbed “Young Victims of Car Accidents” will fill that void, drawing people together under a unifying banner of friendship and companionship.
Aloia was not expected to live due to the breadth of her injuries, which affected her mobility and speech. Gallup was a big part of the rehabilitation process, getting Aloia walking and talking again.
Gallup was helping Aloia for a year until she was injured herself, crushing one of her own vertebrae.
“I messed myself up, I’m not able to help her like last year,” Gallup said.
Young Victims of Car Accidents is Gallup’s attempt to continue helping her young friend. A tentative date of Jan. 24 has been set for the first meeting, Jaycee Park has been chosen as the location and refreshments are to be served.
All that is needed now is the time, and a few people to show up.
“This will be an organizational meeting,” Gallup said. “Anyone that would like to attend can do so.”
Tragedy struck the Aloia family again as Holly’s father, Jerry, suffered his own car accident not long after his daughter’s.
Gallup said neither of the Aloias, now wheelchair bound, go out very often, even though both are strong, resilient individuals.
“He’s a very ambitious man,” Gallup said of Jerry. “He’s in a wheelchair, but they think he may walk again.”
The date and time of the meeting may be changed if a better idea comes along, according to Gallup.
For more information, call Gallup at 542-6203, or e-mail sundancealoia@comcast.net.