Skip to main content

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

A northern Minnesota student athlete facing a tough journey after a devastating accident is getting a little help from his community. 

Last week, Mason Branstrator of Duluth was skiing at Spirit Mountain with his girlfriend when he suffered a broken back and a spinal cord injury, leaving him hospitalized in the pediatric ICU at Essentia Health. 

Branstrator, a student at Duluth East High who was captain of its varsity soccer team as a junior, will soon begin rehabilitation at a facility in Colorado, meaning his family is facing a major lifestyle change as well as serious expenses. 

His parents have set up a GoFundMe page seeking $100,000 in donations to help defray the costs of his hospitalization and rehab — many of which won't be covered by insurance, the page says.

The family also says they will "likely need to make modifications in our home" in the future.

As of this writing, their GoFundMe has raised over $37,000. 

The page describes Branstrator as a "gifted runner" and "defender that runs like the wind" who "has a big heart and is known by all as a person who is inclusive, kind, and loving."

And his recovery will not be easy. As KBJR reports, the 17-year-old "has very little feeling in his legs, and can't move them," and is "facing the possibility he may never walk again."

But Branstator tells the station he sees one silver lining on the road ahead, saying he "realized that I was going so fast that I never had the time to enjoy what was going on and now I'll have all the time in the world to enjoy what's going on around me."

The family says that any monies raised by the fundraiser will go towards his medical and rehab expanses, with anything left over being applied to his "college fund and future living expenses."

 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 5.48.13 PM

Court approves $600K payment to protesters, restrictions on Minneapolis police

Each of the 12 protesters will receive $50,000 as a result.

PicketSignsNurseStrike

15,000 Minnesota nurses vote in favor of second strike

The vote on Wednesday needed at least two-thirds of members' support to pass.

Jason Hackett

New face joining KARE 11's 'Sunrise' morning show

Jason Hackett will be joining Alicia Lewis and Guy Brown on KARE 11's morning show.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.04.09 PM

Armed robbery suspect sought in two south metro investigations

The incidents took place at credit unions in Savage and Apple Valley.

image

Former Twin Cities plastic surgeon charged with sex crimes

Christopher Kovanda is accused of inappropriately touching woman under the guise of providing medical care.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.23.26 PM

Minnesota man accused of murder in Chicago is arrested in Alabama

A 26-year-old man from a small town on the Iowa border is accused of murdering a Greyhound bus employee.

DougKeddieShakopeeSchools

Support for Shakopee Public Schools employee diagnosed with cancer

The media specialist has been transitioned to hospice care recently.

snow

Big November snowstorms uncommon in MN, but snowfall is increasing

This week's 8.4 inches at MSP Airport was one of the biggest November storms in the Twin Cities since 1991.

MNASecondStrike

Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Related

Jacobson family, Washington County

Community pitches in to help family following girl's tragic accidental death

Camilla C. Jacobson was the daughter of a Washington Co. sheriff's sergeant.

Nurse Rachel Zanmiller, who's battling cancer.

After post-birth cancer diagnosis, MN nurse's family asking for help

Rachel Zanmiller has been battling leukemia since giving birth last month.

Minnesota nurse Megan Chao Smith

MN nurse raising money, PPE, food and housing for frontline health workers

She had to leave the COVID-19 effort, so she's helping another way.

Ashli K. Johnson

Family seeks help after mother of 4 gunned down in St. Paul

Ashli K. Johnson's death is still under investigation.

Wounded protester Soren Stevenson.

Friends, family seeking help for injured Minneapolis protester

Soren Stevenson was hurt in a confrontation with police.

Screen Shot 2021-10-13 at 3.17.46 PM

Minnesota family learns their baby has extremely rare, fatal disease

The baby's mother is hoping to provide her son with the best life possible.