R.J. Graddy dedicated years to track and field in Madison. A record-setting jumper, Graddy volunteered with the town’s youth track and field program while in high school and college.
But now, Graddy is the one who needs help.
The 26-year-old had his left leg amputated below the knee after severing the artery in a tragic accident in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, two weeks ago.
Mike Quinn, a former director of Madison youth track, launched a GoFundMe in honor of R.J. Graddy and his family. His mother, Sharon Graddy, was also a dedicated volunteer. She and his father, Rudy Graddy, have been at R.J.’s side in Austin. His younger sister, Alexandra, just graduated from Madison High School.
Quinn’s original goal was $5,000 toward medical care, but the campaign has raised more than $28,000 in its first five days. Contributions have come from Madison, as well as the High Point (North Carolina) University and Austin communities.
Graddy graduated with a degree in business administration and minors in global commerce, Italian, and athletic coaching, according to his LinkedIn profile. Fluent in Italian, he was working in supply-chain management in Austin.
“As good as he was in the sport, and knowledgeable, you couldn’t find someone who was kinder to the kids, nicer, more patient,” Quinn said. “He’s friendly. He’s kind. He’s nice. Just the perfect combination. No one put in more time than the Graddys.”