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Fundraiser to benefit Britt O'Brien, former Centre lacrosse player paralyzed in accident

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Posted at 10:39 AM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 07:45:54-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A fundraiser will be held Sunday for Britt O'Brien, a former Centre College lacrosse player who was paralyzed in an accident at a pool last August.

Ever since then, he has fought to get his mobility back.

"We are so proud of him," his mother, Kristen O'Brien, said. "He has the best attitude, which makes it so much easier on all of us. He just doesn't look back, he just looks forward and he keeps on working hard every day."

These days, you can catch Britt at therapy four times a week. He's also hitting the gym, pulling himself closer to his goals.

To honor Britt and all the progress he's made, a fundraiser is set for Sunday, June 12.

It's called the Hartland Tour of Homes. Those who buy a ticket can go on a self-guided tour of the outdoor living spaces of 13 beautiful homes in the Hartland neighborhood.

Everything from covered patios, pools, and water features to beautifully landscaped gardens will be on display. Organizers say they hope attendees leave feeling inspired to create their own backyard oasis.

"We are just blown away and so grateful that people are so thoughtful and want to help us in any way they can," Kristen said.

100% of the proceeds will go to Britt. He hopes with the money he can get a wheelchair that can help him be more active. He's between one that he could hike and camp with and one he could play rugby in.

"It would mean everything because that's all I've done my entire life, run around, play sports," Britt said.

It would be another piece of the puzzle in his recovery journey.

So far, he has had the support of the community, which helped pitch in toward a wheelchair-accessible renovation at his parent's home.

Academically, he went back to Centre College this past spring and plans to graduate next May.

Emotionally, his parents and friends have been the best support. His girlfriend too.

"I love her so much," Britt said about his girlfriend, Elizabeth. "I never thought it could be like that."

Elizabeth was his close friend before the accident. After, it has grown into so much more.

"There's nothing she won't do, and it means the world to me," Britt said. "I'm literally starting to tear up thinking about it. She does everything."

Surrounded by love, he stays positive despite it all.

"I can't go back and tell myself, 'hey idiot, don't dive in there. It's going to change your life forever,'" he said. "It has changed my life forever in a positive way still because I have a whole new outlook on life now than I had before."

He said it's cliche, but he's living every day like it could be his last.

The Hartland Tour of Homes will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12.

Tickets will be on sale the same day from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hartland clubhouse located at 4910 Hartland Pkwy. Only cash will be accepted as payment.

Items from a food truck and Freshie's Ice Cream will also be for sale at the event.

For more information, you can email hartlandtourofhomes@gmail.com.