Broomfield community raises money for family’s hospital bill

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Josh Chopper is the life of the party. He brightens up the room circling the crowd, asking people what kind of drink they’d like, asking about their families, laughing and listening.

But if you knew his story, you may wonder how someone could be so spunky, given everything he’s gone through.

Chopper’s wife died nearly two years ago in a bus crash. He wears their two anniversary rings welded into a cross around his neck. The other week his son was hit by a truck while biking to work.

The driver took off, leaving C.J. with a broken spine, needing three metal rods and more than two dozen metal screws to fix.

“To lose your whole world, your wife, and then to turn around and have your son hit by a car and end up in the hospital, and almost die, and have your world turned upside down again,” family friend Sandy Kressin said. “I can’t imagine that.”

Kressin and the rest of the Broomfield community got together at Three Chicks Sunday, holding a raffle and party to help pay C.J.’s hospital bills. It will cost Chopper more than $100,000 in upfront costs, with the insurance company only willing to compensate them for half the total.

Local companies helped pitch in for the fundraiser. Frolic Brewing Company came in and donated beer, and Community Cycles our of Boulder gave C.J. a brand new bike.

“It humbles me a lot,” Chopper said. “He’s made good impressions on people.”

All that money and all those gifts going to a family that has seen plenty of misfortune, but the community making a point of letting them know, they don’t have to move forward alone.