HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The College Football Assistance Fund announced Thursday morning that Rainbow Warrior, Kalepo Naotala, will receive a $10,000 grant to help with medical and non-medical costs while rehabbing from a spinal cord injury.
Naotala, a freshman from Virginia, suffered the injury in July from a diving accident at Kapahulu groin in July. He had to be rescued from the water and was transported to Queen's Medical Center in serious condition before being transferred to a treatment center in Colorado that specializes in spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
In a statement released on Thursday, Athletics Director, David Matlin said, "On behalf of the University of Hawaii, we wish to extend our appreciation to the College Football Assistance Fund for their generosity and support of Kalepo. This gift will make a big difference in assisting the Naotala family in Kalepo's road to recovery."
Head coach Nick Rolovich added, "As unfortunate of an incident as it was for Kalepo, the outpouring of support has been amazing. With the help of the College Football Assistance Fund and many others who have generously supported the Naotala family, it will make their journey a little easier."
As Naotala continues to recover, costs for his medical care will continue to rise. Donations can be made to a restricted fund for Kalepo and his family at www.CFAFund.org.
"Words can't express how blessed we've been in the midst of this trying time for our family," said the Naotala family in a statement. "The outpouring of God's love and grace through prayers, love and support from Virginia to Hawaii and now Colorado has been tremendous! We'd like to thank the College Football Assistance Fund (CFAF) for their support and generous donation in allowing our family to focus on Kalepo and his recovery & rehabilitation. We are grateful and appreciative that such an organization exists and is able to help us out during this critical time in our son's life."