Aidan Brand

A screenshot of the GoFundMe fundraiser for Aidan Brand. As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised $29,725.

PELLA — After being tragically paralyzed in a dirt bike accident, the family of 19-year-old Aidan Brand has established a GoFundMe to help with finances in his long journey to recovery.

Brand, a resident of Pella, was paralyzed from the chest down during a dirt bike accident on May 6. Brand’s mother, Wanda, writes that they will never know for sure what happened, but that he was likely crushed by the dirt bike. During the accident, Brand’s spine and spinal cord were severed.

Brand’s surgeon was able to maintain the use of his arms and body function from his chest up after 6.5 hours of surgery. Doctors removed the T7 vertebrae and were able to set a metal cage in its place. They fused T2-T10 to provide support so that Brand has the ability to up. 

After Brand was told by doctors that he would not walk again, he replied: “I am going to rock the Special Olympics," and “I guess I will become an engineer," the fundraiser reads. 

The family’s financial goal on GoFundMe is $250,000 to help with both short- and long-term financial needs as Brand recovers. The family also asks the public to help Brand meet his spiritual needs in the form of prayer.

“With the eyes of faith we have a peace that surpasses all understanding. God's ways and God's plans are higher than ours. Although Aidan’s current physical life may forever be changed, we pray that God will use this situation to draw us all even closer to Jesus,” the fundraiser reads. 

To donate, go to

Emily Hawk is the associate editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. She can be reached at

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