PROVO — Just as in the "Hunger Games" movie, the object of the game was to stay alive by not allowing your opponent to crush the crackers strapped to your body. But in a real-life scenario in Utah County, no one was supposed to get hurt.
Tere Parra is the kind of person people want to be around.
"She looks at the positive in everything. She just likes to have fun," said Spencer Daniels. "She likes to play and she likes to talk and chat and just be with people."
On June 2, Parra and her friends came to Big Springs Park in Provo Canyon to play their version of Hunger Games. In an effort to keep away from everyone, Parra climbed a tree and made it all the way to the top. As she grabbed a dry branch, she slipped and fell 20 feet to the ground.
"I knelt down beside her and I was near her head," Leah Pettit said. "I asked her what do you need and she said, ‘Please get everyone away.' "
Medics lifted Parra to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where she learned she is paralyzed from the waist down. Now, she says her faith is helping her cope.
Every day that I come and see her happy, it makes me strong and happy.
"I pray about it and ask my Heavenly Father, ‘If you prepare this for me, I'm going to take it,'" Parra said.
Parra is from Mexico and has no insurance. She recently returned from a full-time mission to Los Angeles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She came to Utah to visit her younger sister.
"Every day that I come and see her happy, it makes me strong and happy," said Eva Daniels.
"As I watch her laughing through this hardship, it's incredible to me," added Pettit. "I don't have that kind of strength. I'm glad that she does because a lot of us would be struggling more if she didn't."
Parra may never walk again, so friends are rallying around her, organizing a 5K on July 14 in Orem to pay for her mounting hospital bills and long-term rehabilitation.
Friends have organized a variety of fundraisers to help with Tere Parra's medical costs. She does not have insurance. A 5K race will be held 8 a.m. July 14 at Lakeridge Middle School in Orem. Cost is $20. A barbecue afterward is at 11 a.m. and is $10. On July 13, a dance at The Center in Orem costs $5. It is from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.