'We can help other families': Campaign for life-saving helmets
LONDON, ONT. -- The family of a teen who died after a skateboarding accident is urging everyone to wear a helmet.
Angela Ralf lost her 15-year-old son Branden Pettit last week after a fall from his skateboard left him brain dead.
“The last week has been really hard. I’ve had to be a mom and continue being strong for them,” Angela said through tears. She was at a St. Thomas skate park Tuesday handing out stickers for kids and adults to wear on their helmets in honour of Branden.
“Lid up.. the two little words came up in my head. And I started vocalizing it, my kids said, ‘Hey, lets make a sticker of that dad.’ Well that’s what we did,” explains Daniel Ralf, Branden’s uncle.
He went running down the George Street hill in Port Stanley when his son told him Branden had fallen and was lying unconscious. The two boys were skateboarding together when Branden fell.
The campaign is not only aimed at kids, but for adults to set an example.
“Show your kids that it’s cool to wear a helmet, in every sport.” Daniel says. Angela added, “The children, they look at us and we’re not wearing out helmets, like what are we teaching them.”
Through their pain, they hope they can make a difference for other families,
“Even though it’s a negative situation, there can be positive from it. We can help other people, we can help other families not have to deal with what we’ve had to deal with in the last week,” says Daniel, who was handing out stickers to kids and adults at St. Thomas’ downtown skate park.
Adam Desjardins - a daily visitor on his BMX bike, gladly took one of stickers to add to the mural on his grey helmet.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are, how much experience you have. You need to have a helmet no matter what, because accidents can happen at any time.”
More information on the campaign can be found on the #LidupforBranden Facebook page.
While a celebration of Branden’s life is scheduled for Saturday in Port Stanley.