‘Budd Strong’: Remarkable show of support for teacher injured by rock

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PERRY HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A large crowd turned out Saturday to raise money through a motorcycle poker run to benefit 52-year-old Sharon Budd, a teacher, wife, and mother who is still recovering from a senseless attack.

In July, Budd was a passenger in her family car when several teens threw rocks down from an overpass above the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

One of those rocks smashed through the windshield and hit Budd at highway speeds -- nearly killing her.

Over 200 riders turned out on Saturday at Edison Middle School, where Sharon taught, and something stood out to her husband.

"I don't know many of these people," said Randy Budd, grateful for all the support, and perhaps a little surprised at how much of it was coming from total strangers.

Randy said his wife is about 35 percent of her former self, describing her progress as "slow, but she's improving every day."

"Sharon is a beautiful human being," said Stephanie Betz, her aunt who helped organize the poker run.

Betz said Sharon will need "a lot more" surgeries, and all the money raised by the poker run will go to help the family with unexpected expenses.

Stacy Daugherty, who co-taught a class in the same room as Sharon, said it was great to see the turnout, but said "it's still hard, it's still very hard" to think about what happened to her.

There were T-shirts and wristbands that said "Budd Strong" -- a sign not just of support, but of how Sharon has led her life.

"Sharon had breast cancer at 39," said her husband, Randy, "very aggressive cancer, and she beat it. She is known as a very strong person."

The family hopes to bring Sharon back to Ohio to continue her recovery starting next month.

And she will find a lot of friends, more support, and even more love waiting for her here at home.

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