SOME PEOPLE are destroyed by tragedy.
Others are transformed. Greg and Fran Rooker suffered every parent's
nightmare. Their 10-year-old-son, Jason, suffered a debilitating injury
and died 16 months later.
Friends, doctors, their church and
eventually a worldwide network offered support and prayer to help the
family through months of hospital care and exhausting rehabilitaion.
For Greg Rooker, once a hardnosed newspaper publisher in Southwest
Virginia, and his wife the experience changed their lives.
After Jason's death the two decided
to help other families desperate for information on brain injuries by
creating the Jason Foundation.
Their energies and financial support
helped start Brain Injury Services of SWVA to provide case workers and
home services for brain-injured patients.
This month, efforts by the Rookers
and others such as Sandy Willis, president of the Roanoke Valley's
brain-injury group, will bring a statewide brain injury conference to
Such efforts provide new levels of
care and a community of support for families. Instead of speaking of a
life lost, people who know Jason's story can now speak of lives
transformed, thanks to the Rookers's tireless work.