SMYRNA, Tenn. (KTVI) — The Smyrna High School team colors are purple and gold. Purple is one of Janae Edmondson’s favorite colors.
People in the Middle Tennessee town have launched the “Purple Challenge,” using the color to show support for the 17-year-old senior, whose legs had to be amputated after she was hit by a car while her club volleyball team was playing in St. Louis over the weekend.
Players plan to dye their hair purple. New hashtags are trending, including #prayfornae since “Nae” is short for Janae. Rival high schools are also posting with the school.
Smyrna’s Town Manager Brain Hercules said every ounce of support helps.
“This family’s going to have to deal with a hospital stay,” Hercules explained. “The parents are going to have hotels. There’s going to be food needs. All of that is being taken into consideration. I don’t think you’ll find a better community to step up and take care of one of our own, more than the town of Smyrna.”
The principal said Janae considers herself “student first” and “athlete second.”
Still, she earned an athletic scholarship to UT Southern for her volleyball skills. The assistant director of her club volleyball team shared he found out Wednesday night, the school would honor that scholarship.
While visiting St. Louis with her family to participate in a volleyball tournament, Janae was struck after a speeding driver failed to yield and collided with another vehicle. She was treated at a nearby hospital, where she lost her legs.