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Hurry Up to the Backbone: Jurica Fundraiser Starts at Noon

Canyon Lake's Jacob Jurica, 12, has had 19 surgeries for spina bifida since he was born but mom Jenny Jurica says he never complains and never stops smiling. Musician J.T. Tuttle hopes a fundraiser he's planning at Riley's on the Backbone Resurrected on Sunday, July 21, will put a big smile on the Jurica family's faces and provide some relief from medical expenses.

Canyon Lake singer and guitarist  J.T. Tuttle entertains hundreds of patrons at area restaurants, bars, and wineries every week, but it was his performance at Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Grill in Sattler on June 2 that made a fan out of a 12-year-old boy sitting in a wheelchair.

Tuttle noticed that Jacob Jurica smiled cheerfully every time he played a new song.

He ambled over (“because I get along with everybody”) and soon learned the Jurica family had just arrived from St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, where Jacob was blessed in anticipation of surgery to implant steel rods in his back to treat his spinal bifida.

Several days later, friends asked Jacob’s mother Jenny Jurica, a special-education teacher at Startzville Elementary, if she’d seen a post about a “BENEFIT for JACOBS COURAGE” fundraiser for her son on Facebook.

Tuttle, who describes him self as “just an old man who loves to play and sing,” had reached out to Bill and Jennifer Townsend, new owners of the remodeled Riley’s on the Backbone Resurrected, 3971 FM 32, Fischer, to see if they’d host a fundraiser.

“They’re very involved in the community,” he said.

A fundraiser is now scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. at Riley’s, along with silent and live auctions, great food, and musicians including the Tex Porter Family, Hunter Road Trio, Colby Albright Band, Drew Moreland, Maria Williamson and Ray Reed, to name a few.

Tuttle said he hopes to raise $10,000 for Jacob, who developed an infection after his June surgery, resulting in three additional surgeries. Another operation is scheduled some time in the next six weeks.

Despite all this Jenny Jurica said her son never complains even though he’s been in and out of hospitals his entire life.

Jacob’s had 19 surgeries since he was born, but for now he’s more focused on studying guitar in seventh grade as an elective, and possibly keeping up with his older brother by taking driver’s ed when he’s older.

“He’s so amazing,” Jenny Jurica said. “The Canyon Lake community has been amazing since he was little. We just appreciate everything, the prayers the thoughts and all of the different things he’s been graced with from the community over the years.”




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