Family and friends of a San Diego college student who suffered a traumatic brain injury walked around Mission Bay Saturday in honor of their loved one.
In October 2016, Alex Barbosa, a San Diego State University (SDSU) student, lost control of his motorcycle just west of campus on Montezuma Road, sliding across the ground before striking a sign post, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said.
Alex was severely injured in the crash. Doctors had to amputate one of his legs; he also suffered a traumatic brain injury, for which he is currently being treated at CareMeridian in La Mesa.
When Alex's family found out staff members from CareMeridian participate in an annual walk to raise awareness for those with brain injuries, they immediately signed up to help and raise money.
The 10th annual Survive Headstrong Walk For Recovery benefits the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, which raises money to help survivors and their families.
The event took place Saturday in Mission Beach, where more than 1,500 people showed up, including dozens of survivors.
Alex wasn’t able to attend, but his parents -- Andrea and John Barbosa -- were there, walking for their son. They said they hope Alex can join them in the walk in the future.
The Barbosas are tight-knit Portuguese family from Point Loma. Andrea and John say their son has a long way to go, but is slowly making progress.
“There are no words, you can’t go through this alone,” said Andrea.
The group walked with shirts that read "Portguese Superman," Alex’s new nickname in the recovery process.
Andrea said brain injuries are tough on everyone because of the unpredictable response to treatment, but the family remains hopeful thanks in part to support from the walk.