NEWS

Donors raise $135K to bring former Argos cheerleader home

08/29/2012 06:26 EDT | Updated 10/29/2012 05:12 EDT
Friends and family of a former Toronto Argonauts cheerleader who suffered serious head injuries while on holiday in Croatia say they have raised $135,000 to help bring her home.

Anna Leibenko, 24, has been in an induced coma in a Croatian hospital since she fell three metres from a catamaran and struck her head on Aug. 17. She remains in critical condition.

A website set up by her family says Leibenko is on life-support with brain injuries and fractures to her skull and face.

Leibenko did not have travel insurance. The website asks for donations to help cover the $95,000 cost of flying her home for treatment.

“Please find it in your heart to help save the life of a girl which just began,” reads the website.

The Argonauts cheerleaders have also made a YouTube video, asking for help from donors.

Mandy Monroe is a lifelong friend of Leibenko's. She told CBC News the family is hoping to fly her friend back to Toronto some time in the next 10 days.

Monroe expressed thanks to those who have donated.

"I want to thank all of them for the support, for having a heart and not just giving Anna the cold shoulder for not getting travel insurance and understanding the mistake she made and donating."

Munroe knows that getting her friend back home is only the first step in what may be a long and difficult road to recovery.

"We don't know what's going to happen afterwards, right? We can only hope for the best."

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