Members of the founding family of Whataburger and Eden Welply might not ever meet, but they have a few things in common. They grew up in Corpus Christi until Austin called their names.

And they are linked together by the Statesman Season for Caring program.

Welply, 25, is one of 12 local families featured in this year’s Season for Caring program, which collects donations to help the featured families and hundreds of others like them through local nonprofit organizations. Welply was nominated by the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

This year, Whataburger kicked off the 21st Season for Caring with a $25,000 donation. Since 2011, Whataburger has given $253,000 to Season for Caring.

"Whataburger is grateful for the opportunity to provide to families of the Statesman Season for Caring program for the ninth year," said Donald Hurrell, Whataburger regional director of operations. "In this holiday season we are reminded how important it is to give back to our local communities, and we hope we can continue to support this program for years to come."

Welply became paralyzed in February after she was hit by a car while heading to class at Texas State University. She was not expected to live and actually died for 11 minutes when her heart stopped during surgery.

Since February, she has been in and out of hospitals and care facilities. She is currently in a rehabilitation hospital in Houston to work on getting stronger and adding to the list of things she now can do that she couldn’t do immediately after the accident. She can breathe on her own, she can turn herself over in bed and she can put on her own socks.

The aspiring musician has figured out ways to continue to write music; however, without the use of her hands, she has not yet figured out how to play the guitar.

When she returns home, she has a core group of friends ready to help her, but she needs more.

She’ll need home health care, a cleaning service, smart home devices to help her control things in the house with her voice, a ramp, and gift cards for restaurants and entertainment places that she can give her friends who come to help. She’d also like a trained service animal, acupuncture and an AxioBionics wearable pain management system.

To further her music, she needs an iMac desktop computer with Dragon Dictate software, an Ableton Sensory Percussion Kit and track pad, and recording sessions.

She also needs an adapted vehicle that she can learn to drive and that will fit her wheelchair.

To find out more about Welply or to donate an item on her wish list, contact HAAM at 512-541-4226 or