A genuine, old soul with a beautiful outlook on life who radiates positivity everywhere he goes.
This is how a few of the 50-plus friends and family packed tightly into Jam Street Music Sessions Sunday night for a fundraiser described Jake Diehl.
The 17-year-old was airlifted to Saskatoon last Friday after he fell while longboarding and was run over by the rear wheel of a Jeep he was holding onto and his friend was driving. He sustained major head trauma.
According to a webpage set up to provide updates on his condition, Diehl was responding well to being weaned off painkillers. He remains in a medically induced coma, though doctors are gradually reducing the sedatives. Diehl has also started to initiate breaths on a ventilator.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for his mother Karin to aid the family with costs associated with the accident.
Among the crowd were two of Diehl’s aunties, Roni Novotny and Jamie Buchinski. Both were overwhelmed and touched by the generosity and outpouring of support from the city and arts community.
“It is really amazing that the arts community really came together to support him," Novotny said. “He truly is a rising star in this community. His ability to write and emit emotion in his music is just amazing."
Buchinski echoed these comments, adding Diehl has an ability to make friends wherever he goes and found it fitting to see the fundraiser assemble around music — a passion and large part of Diehl’s life.
Both said the past week has weighed heavily on the family. Novotny described it as “pretty traumatic,” though credited the bounty of support for helping them cope.
“You think about it all the time and it never really goes away. You try to go to work but it always pops into your head,” Buchinski added. “But people are texting you, messaging you, even to watch your kids so you can go see him. It is really heartwarming.”
Tessa Thompson, the drummer for local rock trio The Wolfe, spearheaded the night. She reached out and gathered a handful of fellow musicians to perform. She knew Diehl through the music community and friends.
“He was the most fun loving person I ever met. The most genuine person,” she said.
Thompson said it didn’t seem real when she heard the news and had a difficult time believing it. She thought bringing the community together around music would help everyone cope and be a fitting way to show support.
Donations were being accepted as cover at the door and a table nestled in the corner of the entryway overflowed with various silent auction items. All the money raised from the night will go the family.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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