On Saturday, November 2, Clay High School Alumni held their seventh annual Clay Christmas Craft Bazaar. Many vendors were set up in the high school gymnasium and overflowed through the cafeteria, up the stairs through the hallway, before ending inside the junior high gymnasium.
Through the route of vendors, one particular table might have caught your eye, #JodyStrong. Five 1976 Clay High School classmates of Jody (Ratcliff) Diaz volunteered their time to raise money for Diaz who is a hit and run victim. Kim Bailey, Loretta Keyser, Julie Pollard, Joy Weakland, Rusty Collins and Mark Smith were selling t-shirts, pens, drink cozies and bracelets with the #JodyStrong logo printed on them.
The accident happened on Friday, September 13 in South Point. Diaz is a beautician at Studio 32, Gallia Street, Portsmouth.
According to Kim Bailey, “She (Diaz) was cleaning her windshield after pumping gas and a truck and trailer cut the corner too close running over her leg,” said Bailey. “She was coming back from getting hair color for work.”
Diaz said the the driver stopped and told her that he didn’t know he ran over her until he heard her scream. He then left. He was uninsured and he has not been charged for by law enforcement.
“As long as I can remember we have been friends,” said Julie Pollard. “I went to school with Jody and I am out here today to show my support.”
Diaz was not able to attend, as she is still on the road to recovery, with friends and family caring for her at home.
“It’s amazing how quickly your life can change,” said Diaz.
It has been almost two months since the accident and Diaz still has several months ahead, on her road to recovery.
“Seven weeks, two hospitals, extensive rehab and a nursing home stay; with already two surgeries (and skin grafts) later, I’ve graduated from a wheelchair to a walker and quad cane,” said Diaz.
According to Diaz, the beauty business is the only thing she knows. She said she misses it dearly.
“An uncertain future as to if I’ll ever be able to return back to my job, (my passion, my element, my love),” stated Diaz.
If you did not get a chance to purchase an item on Saturday, they are available for purchase at Studio 32 on Gallia Street in Portsmouth.
“Additional ways to donate are through a PayPal account by visiting paypal.me/jodydiaz773 or at any US Bank Branch to the “Jody’s Blessing Fund” with 100% of donations going to help Diaz with living expenses and medical bills,” said Felicia Diaz-Taylor, the daughter of Diaz. “Linda Phipps, a client and dear friend of my mom’s set up the PayPal account to help with the expenses.”
Reach Hope R. Comer (740) 353-3101 ext. 1911
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