SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - In September 2021, FOX 2 photographer and editor Rob Plewa was in a devastating motorcycle crash.
"The biggest challenge is to accept the fact that I am a quadriplegic," he said. "A little bit of a torture that I have no brain damage because I feel like good old me, but I can't do any of the things I used to do."
Rob visited the newsroom Tuesday, a rare trip out of the house since he was hurt.
"I'm here to try to encourage people to contribute to those who need help," he said. "I never used to ask for help. Now I have to ask for help for everything."
After the crash, life changed for both Rob and his wife of 21 years, Rita, who now has to care for him and cannot work. She has to turn him every two hours, lift him out of bed, and help him get around.
Under Michigan law, a single motorcycle crash does not pay any disability benefit. No one can be sued, and the only income Rob's family has is Social Security disability and a small long-term disability benefit, offset by the amount of money he gets from Social Security.
"In 2019 the legislature changed the laws, the no-fault laws, for motorists that are involved in accidents, virtually eliminating coverage for people like Rob," said Greg Jamian, with the Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association.
Jamian presented Rob with a $2,000 check.
"You don't focus on what got you there, you focus on what gets you out of there. It's making me tear up right now just thinking about it," Rob said.
Donations to all nonprofits, like the Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association, are down 7%. And because of changes in the law, there's been more requests for donations and an increased need for funds. You can donate to the Spinal Cord Injury Association here.