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Hundreds show at benefit for teen paralyzed in motorcycle crash

NILES, Mich. -- After a Niles teen suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash, the Niles community is stepping up to help.

Searra Inman, 17, was involved in a serious motorcycle accident on july 9th that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

“When a tragedy like this happens to someone, the first thing you think is ‘how can I help’,” said Brooke Smith, a friend of Searra Inman.

Days later, friends and family organized a benefit at Brandywine High School where Inman is a student, to help with Inman’s recovery and the community answered with a big turnout of about 300 people. Organizers say they expected around 100 to show, initially.

“She deserves it and she’ll work even harder knowing that all these people are behind her.” Katie Kovac, Searra’s Soccer Coach and an organizers of the benefit.

Searra even had the chance to say ‘hi’ and thank everyone from her hospital bed via Facetime video projected on a large screen in the school’s cafeteria.

“You’re guys’ help and everything has given me strength to do better everyday and push through everyday. Thank you so much,” said Inman.

But it was a tough day for most of her friends who say they miss her.

“The first thing when I heard that it was as bad as it was, that she was paralyzed, I thought that… we didn’t know what to think and then when it processed, I was like ‘she’s the person who can fight this’,” said Emily and Grace Burge, friends and former teammates of Searra Inman.

“She’s just always been that person I looked up to. She’s so strong and.. just keep fighting,” said Kelli Scoggin and Vivian Fahey, also friends and soccer teammates of Searra Inman.

“I mean she’s such a strong person, she can do it,” said Burge.

“Keep getting stronger everyday, keep fighting," said Erin Young, a friend of Searra's

“Stay determined, keeping working hard," said Sarah Dye, a friend of Searra's.

Friends of the family tell ABC 57, in the last week, Searra has already been able to stand up after practice. They also say they raised over $13 thousand for Searra’s recovery during the benefit. Inman’s parents weren’t ready to go on camera just yet, but wrote a statement to the Niles community for their support. Click here to view that statement:

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