PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Jeff Habecker went through many parents’ worse nightmare when his eldest son, Tanner, suffered a debilitating concussion while playing youth football.
The injury changed the fabric of Jeff and his family's life.
“When you when you let your child play sport, yeah, you're aware that there's a danger involved and you're aware that, you know, injuries can take place, but you almost feel partially responsible for what happened," Habecker said.
The concussion diagnosis required Jeff and his family to find specialists, and trainers to help Tanner after this injury, all the while Jeff was looking for a way that he could make sure something like this wouldn't happen to others.
"Let me tell you, there was nobody telling me 'this is the yellow brick road...these are the doctors you need to see, these are the specialists you need to go to'... We had nobody...So, I guess the driving point to me was, if I can make one person not have to go through what we had to go through, that that commitment and dedication...it was well worth it at that point to us," Habecker explained.
So, he got to work.
Collaborating with neurologists and sports analytics companies, Habecker helped to add brand new concussion protocols to the Cocalico youth football teams and bring in state-of-the-art youth helmets with concussion monitoring sensors.
He says this costly endeavor was able to happen thanks to a supportive hometown.
"To this day, these helmets are being used, and to this day, the protocols are being followed," Habecker said.
However, he says his hope is to bring this life-saving and potentially life-changing technology beyond the boarders of Lancaster County.
"There's a bigger picture in all of this...there's youth organizations across the whole commonwealth. It doesn't just stop here, I think it goes beyond just the community...it goes throughout the state and across the U.S.," Habecker said.
As Habecker continues to Multiply Good – he hopes that his work, and his son's story, can inspire others to get involved too.
"When you think about service, it's giving time and giving some effort and giving back to something that you love and you're passionate about... it's just something you did - and you did it because you loved it."
All over our area, there are people who are not just doing good - but Multiplying Good.
Every year, we honor them with the Jefferson Awards - a nationwide foundation that celebrates amazing acts of public service. 2022 is FOX43's first season of being a Jefferson Awards Media Partner.
You can nominate someone for a Jefferson Award by clicking here.