Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Fallen Rugger and His Family Needs Your Help

A fallen rugger and his family need the support of the rugby community.  Young star Isiah Willas has lost his life and his family needs the support of the rugby community to provide him with a proper burial.
A DC family is reeling under the weight of tens of thousands of dollars in funeral expenses after losing three generations in a car crash. 

Isiah Willas was a talented young man who had unknown levels of potential on the rugby pitch, and sadly that potential will never be realized due to a tragic traffic accident.  Unfortunately the story does not end there.  A family is reeling under the weight of  thousands of dollars in funeral expenses after losing Isiah his mother and grandfather in the fatal accident. 

The big extended family, including many from the Washington DC rugby community held services for Isiah, Cindy and Thomas Willis -- but none of them can be buried until the cemetery is paid. 

Grandfather Thomas Willis, at 69, the patriarch... mother Cindy Willis... and grandson Isiah Willis, just 21.
The three were returning from a funeral themselves earlier this month, when Virginia State Police say Isiah overcorrected and careened off I-95 in Prince George County

Authorities transferred the bodies to one funeral home in Virginia, than another in Maryland, and a third in DC, where they are being held. With each transfer the cost mounted the family struggled to meet the demands.

Isiah played rugby at the University of Mary Washington. "He was a great kid. A great kid," said his coach, Tim Brown.

He remembers a young man who had almost nothing, but was always smiling -- and excelling in the state rugby final. "I think Isiah touched the ball three times and scored twice. I think the quote from the JMU coach was, 'If he had touched it one more time, we wouldn't have one the game.'"

There's talk of insurance money to help cover about $33,000 in fees from the funeral homes and the cemetery. But Isiah, Cindy and Thomas Willis' bodies will go back into storage until his cousins come up with the money. 

Isiah’s current rugby club Washington Rugby Football Club has stepped up and set up a donation fund using Fundly, to help the family cover the cost.  Brian Mihelic, who coached Isiah in high school and at WRFC is heading the efforts.

  We are still working to raise more money.  Anything raised above the actual costs (they will eventually get some money from insurance), will go to The Isiah Willis Scholarship fund being set up at Mary Washington.” Mihelic stated in a recent email to supports. 

The rugby community has always proven to be one of the strongest communities around, and right now a family needs the support of that community

Donations can be submitted by clicking here

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