It was a senseless crime - a man beaten so severely he almost died.
The attack happened exactly one year ago when Mike Wasike was pulled from his car and beaten nearly to death and for no apparent reason.
Wasike struggles physically. His family is struggling financially so people are coming up with new ways to help.
This was going to be a difficult night. Joanne Namacheno was glad not to be alone.
“I think it`s wonderful. It`s very amazing,” Wasike’s wife Joanne said. “I didn`t even know that this would come up some day. I mean I was approached by a friend of this federation saying the federation wanted to help.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines was the host, but there were speeches and prayers from other faces and faiths. And there was time for Joanne to give an update of her husband`s slow progress.
“He has facial expressions. When you say something funny he smiles, so he is getting a little better. He is unable to eat; he is still on a feeding tube.”
Donations to the Wasike family have already topped $60,000, but this was a chance for more. Every penny is appreciated and put to use.
“For one thing I have babysitting issues, so it`s been paying the babysitters. We`ve been traveling to Oklahoma at least twice a month to check on Mike, my rent, it has helped with everything.”
Wasike was holding two jobs when he was attacked and his family has lost his income, but not its hope that the next year will be kinder to them.
Wasike remains under constant care at a facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His alleged attackers are all teens being tried as adults. They’ve been charged with first-degree robbery and will go on trial next month.