Jeff Ruby Foundation to raise funds for paralyzed athlete with o - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Jeff Ruby Foundation to raise funds for paralyzed athlete with online auction

(Facebook/Ryan Custer's Recovery Care Page) (Facebook/Ryan Custer's Recovery Care Page)

Ryan Custer's life changed dramatically in April 2017. Now, Jeff Ruby is working to ease his current and future burdens.

Custer, a 19-year-old former standout basketball player at Cincinnati Elder High School and current Wright State team member, suffered a severe spinal cord injury when diving into a swimming pool, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

“It’s hard to fathom the impact a tragic accident like this has on a great kid like Ryan.” Ruby said. “He’s a great athlete, well-liked -- it’s just something that really affects you when you hear about it.”

Custer is home now after extensive hospital stays in Chicago and Denver while undergoing rigorous therapy designed to help him regain feeling. Because of the nature and extent of his injuries, as well as the current level of care needed, it is estimated he and his family will face substantial ongoing financial challenges.

Through his Foundation, Ruby plans to help by creating a unique Online Auction Fundraiser that runs Sept.15 through Sept. 30.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is committed as the presenting sponsor, leading a number of area businesses and philanthropic individuals in supporting the cause.

Auction items include:

  • an all-expenses paid trip to the 2018 NCAA Final Four (including airfare, hotel, and tickets)
  • an array of sports memorabilia like signed jerseys, balls, helmets
  • music memorabilia like signed guitars by Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks
  • home services
  • spa services
  • event tickets
  • Ruby’s entire 16-guest luxury suite to the Bengals/Pittsburgh game in December

The majority of the sports and music items to be auctioned were either donated by the athlete/entertainer or by Ruby’s personal collection.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the Auction and can access it through or directly at

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