SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – High wire daredevil Nik Wallenda has spent his life wowing audiences around the world, and now he’s asking for their help. Two weeks after members of his troupe fell off the wire, he said the medical expenses are adding up.
Nik Wallenda said it’s a miracle that five of his performers survived after falling off the wire during a practice on February 8th.
The members have a slew of broken arms and feet.
Nik’s aunt Rietta was badly injured and his sister Lijana has a number of broken bones, including a broken jaw.
Insurance is not covering everything.
“Some of these injuries, they were in the trauma center for five, six days and because of that, it has well exceeded what that policy will pay,” said Wallenda.
Nik set up the Nik Wallenda Family Foundation, a 501(C)(3) charitable organization where funds will go directly to help those recover.
“Several of them won’t be able to be on their feet for several months, because of broken feet. That’s hard when you tell an athlete they won’t be able to get out of a wheelchair for several months,” said Wallenda.
He set a goal of $100,000, but truthfully, he feels their expenses could be three or four times that much. Nik is already planning some benefit performances to help them out.
“We’re all a team. We’re all a family. We’re trying to get through that together and we’re trying to do our best to raise funds,” he said.
But, despite the challenges, he and his family are remaining optimistic.
“The doctors have said somewhere between six and nine months for some of them, nine being the worst case. I don’t even like to say those words. I believe words are powerful, and that puts limitations when we hear stuff like that. It limits our abilities,” said Wallenda.
Circus life is a risky business, and this family is counting their blessings, and believing in faith that soon, all the injured will be back on the wire.
Nik said after the accident, he was contacted by people from all over the world, asking how they can help.
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