Fighting for Laura

A fundraiser will be held for Laura Brooks, who is in a coma after being struck by a car in Port Richmond.

Helping a family in need: On Sept. 26, Laura Brooks was crossing the 3700 block of Richmond St. alone and was struck by a Chevy. Her family and friends have organized a beef and beer to help pay for her medical bills. It will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Holy Name Church.

By Lindsey Nolen

Sept. 26 was just another Tuesday for 24-year-old Port Richmond resident Laura Brooks, until approximately 7:28 p.m., when she was crossing the 3700 block of Richmond St. alone and was struck by the front driver’s side of a 2005 Chevy.

Brooks was rushed to Temple Hospital after suffering injuries to her hip, torso, legs and head.

Brooks’ friends and family are hosting a beef-and-beer fundraiser for her increasing medical bills.

Kate McCandless, who has been a close friend of the victim since they met at a recreational sports program at Newts Playground at Shissler Recreation Center in sixth grade, stressed that her friend’s family was in no way prepared to support the vast and increasing medical bills.

“I got woken up out of my sleep to my girlfriend telling me she saw what had happened on social media,” McCandless said. “[Brooks] is currently in a medically induced coma fighting for her life. The cops said that the driver was going 25 mph but Laura’s neurologist said there was no way that was possible.”

The Philadelphia Police Department confirmed this accident, and relayed that an investigation is active and ongoing. It also noted that the 21-year-old operator of the Chevy remained at the scene for police arrival.

The beef and beer will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Holy Name Church, 701 Gaul St. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and the event will feature food, drinks, baskets, prizes, shirts and more.

“The goal for the event is to bring awareness to the tragedy and to help raise funds for the medical bills that the Brooks family will have to deal with,” McCandless said. “Most people would take the healing process day by day, but Laura’s family and friends are taking it hour by hour. Although there has been some progress, it’s hard to say whether or not it’s actually improvement, but we all have hope that she will make a full recovery.”

For those unable to attend the event, a GoFundMe page has been established for Brooks, a Fishtown native.

Donations can be made by visiting gofundme.com/pray-for-pesos

“People should donate because this tragedy hits close to home,” McCandless said. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows Laura or knows of Laura, and if it were the other way around, Laura would help any way that she could.”

McCandless added that she knows this to be true, because during her and Brooks’ senior year of high school, she was going through chemotherapy and Brooks made sure she was OK every day. She continued by stressing that Brooks and her family helped McCandless in ways she believes she could never repay, so now she feels the need to give back and try to influence others to do the same for an amazing woman, and an amazing cause.

Furthermore, McCandless described Brooks as someone who is always the center of attention, and who is kind, loving, goofy, an overachiever and someone who leaves an impression on everyone she meets. She added that Brooks is a financial adviser at a collection agency in Bensalem, and a lover of sports, music, her friends and going to local sporting events. ••

To purchase tickets for the beef and beer, or for questions, call Erin Gallagher, Brooks’ best friend and organizer of the benefit, at 215–251–5880.