For many of you in the St. Louis region and beyond, the story of Chris Sanna still raises a lump in the throat. Last year, Sanna was celebrating his Mother’s birthday at a Cardinals game with his girlfriend and brothers. After the game, as Sanna was walking to his car, he was mugged and shot. As a result of his injuries, Sanna is now paralyzed from the waist down.
The crime captivated people from around the country not only for its senselessness but also because Sanna is an Army veteran with six years of distinguished service to his country. The irony of making it unscathed through military service only to encounter violence mere blocks from a packed Busch Stadium is not lost on anyone.
The alleged shooter has since been charged with the crime, but that will do nothing to restore Sanna’s ability to use his legs. On top of his injuries, Sanna is also contending with a mountain of medical bills and the loss of his income at a local auto body shop. Financial stresses like these make an already difficult time even harder.
The Gary Sinese Foundation
Sanna and his family initiated a fundraising effort to defray some of these costs, and all of us here at Just Around the Corner were more than eager to participate. In order to make the biggest impact, we did more than just take up a collection at work – we enlisted the help of the Gary Sinese Foundation, one of the leading veterans support organizations in the country.
Many of our readers will remember Gary Sinese as Lieutenant Dan from the classic film Forrest Gump. In addition to acting, Sinese serves as a passionate advocate for all veterans and a crusader for the wounded and fallen. When we reached out to his foundation with Sanna’s story, he was eager to help out.
Sinese was kind enough to provide a signed photo of himself from the film. The photo is to be sold, and the proceeds donated to support Sanna. These funds will not restore his ability to walk or cover all of his expenses, but they will go a long way towards restoring some of what this veteran has lost.
At Just Around the Corner, we are committed to helping veterans and all people in need. We donate time, money, and resources to orphanages and feeding programs in the developing world as well as work with a number of local charities and nonprofits that serve the people and places of St. Louis.
Chris Sanna’s story is heartbreaking, but he remains optimistic. He is hopeful that, one day, he will regain his ability to walk again. Knowing how brave and determined this soldier is, we think he has a fighting chance. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work yet to do and many expenses coming down the pipeline. We encourage all of our readers to donate whatever they can to support his ongoing care.