Small Wisconsin Community Shows Big Heart For Local Brain Injured neighbor, award winning author Thomas Hapka
by Kale Locke & Dustin Alexander-Pérez • Metro News Wire Service
Updated Monday, May 22, 2017 @3:55 p.m. CDT
WHITEWATER, WI - Community members and business leaders came together Saturday, May 20th, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to lend morale and financial support to their neighbors Thomas Hapka and family.
The 45-year-old author reportedly suffered a traumatic brain injury during an accident while receiving a chiropractic adjustment. Hapka is now permanently disabled.
Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta, 1210 W. Main St., Whitewater, donated the restaurant space as well as 20% of their cash register sales during the four-hour event. The campaign reportedly raised $1,000 in the first 24 hours. A future benefit for Hapka's organization, Life Beyond Brain Injury, is being planned.
Despite chronic physical challenges, Hapka has somehow managed to write two books; award winning “Feline AIDS: A Pet Owner's Guide” and “Letters to Brett Favre”. However, daily life after suffering a Bow Hunter's Stroke still poses great difficulties and financial burden for Hapka and his immediate family. It is common for people to suffer this type of stroke due to a preexisting condition or weakening of the vertebral artery. Hapka was recently dismissed from his job after nine years with that company and his aging mother should have retired years ago, but is now forced to do so because of her own health concerns.
Photo credit: © 2017 Bill Stephens/WMS Metro News Chicago • Photo 1: Tom Hapka greets benefit attendees as his mother looks on from the background. - Photo 2: From left-to-right, Kathy Hapka (Tom's sister), Shirley Hapka (Tom's mother) & Thomas Hapka partaking in a family meal.
“I would love to make a career of writing,” Hapka said. “My sister, Kathy, is helping me put together a book about my story with the hope that other people who have gone through something similar will know that they aren't alone and there is hope and help for them.”
Ken Dahnert, owner of Rocky Rococo's said, “I was more than happy to help Tom start his foundation, to raise awareness for his cause. I'm happy that I had a place for Tom to help others with injuries similar to his.”
When asked more about his participation in the benefit, Dahnert humbly said, “It has nothing to do with me. I was just more than happy to help him start out.” Dahnert is well known for his desire to help people in need whenever possible.
“I want everyone to know just how thankful we are for their kind thoughts and words we've received during this time,” said Shirley Hapka, Thomas' mother.fa People who would like to learn more about Tom Hapka and resources that are available to people who have suffered any type of brain injury can visit the foundation's website at LifeBeyondBrainInjury.org – There is also a secure donation page to contribute to this worthy cause.