IMPACT
01/18/2013 09:42 am ET

Upper Saint Clair And Peters Township Rival Wrestling Teams, Fundraise For Local Injured Marine Cpl. Doug Vitale (VIDEO)


In western Pennsylvania, two rival wrestling high school teams took to the mat for an injured Marine.

More than 2,000 people came to see the Upper Saint Clair and Peters Township teams pin each other down. The event raised more than $14,000 to help build a specially-equipped home for Marine Cpl. Doug Vitale, who lost his legs after stepping on a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, WTAE reports.

Vitale, a native of the area and former wrestler, is now recovering at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Tampa, Fla., according to CBS Pittsburgh.

“He had a couple of strokes related to the brain injury in those early days, and we’re not sure what he’ll recover. So they work every day, work hard every day, with four hours of therapy, trying to make as much progress as they can,” Vitale’s mother-in-law, Denise Abraham told the news outlet.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and The Gary Sinese Foundation will be building Vitale a “smart home” -- a custom designed house with a range of accessibility functions to fit his specific needs, as explained on the organization’s website.

"We can't wait,” Vitale's sister, Emily Vitale says about her brother’s anticipated return. “It seems like forever since we had him here, so we’ll be really excited and very relieved that he is finally home," she told WTAE.

Event organizers had originally planned on raising $5,000 for the cause -- a goal that was almost tripled, according to upperstclair.patch.com.

In Tampa, Vitale’s wife, Alexis Vitale, has remained by her husband’s side and is humbled by the support they have received.

“Your family and your friends doing so much for you,” Alexis told CBS Pittsburgh, “and a community backing them up and just supporting you. It feels really great.”

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