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Charlotte Warriors football team raises money for injured player

Posted at 12:04 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 14:36:21-04

After 13-year-old Nathaniel Smith broke his femur playing football, the Charlotte Warriors' head coach created a "GoFundMe" page to help raise money for his medical bills.

Nathaniel's mom, Tierra Smith said he completely split his femur bone last Sunday, and he'll be out of the game for at least a year.

"It's been challenging, mainly for him, because he's 13 and he's an athlete and he wants to be on his feet. He can't walk and it's very stressful," Smith said.

She said it's also been frustrating because she's had to miss work while he's been injured. He's not able to go to school because they have no way of getting him there while he's in a wheelchair. She's also a single mom.

Coach Jim Gatto with the Charlotte Warriors said he wanted to step up and help this family in their time of need.

"It's just always been in my nature to try to help people around me," Gatto said.

Gatto created Nathaniel's "GoFundMe" page a few days after he was injured, and said he's raised hundreds of dollars so far. He said it was something he didn't think twice about doing.

"He acts like a big brother for a lot of these kids and a lot of these kids look up to him," Gatto said.

Nathaniel Smith has at least one more surgery to go, but won't be able to walk for a couple more months.