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Pulse victim says OneOrlando Fund helped him become independent again

$29 million collected through donations

ORLANDO, Fla. – Six months after the Pulse shootings, 26-year-old Norman Casiano is moving into a new home. He said it's possible because of the donations he received from the OneOrlando Fund.

"That's what's helping me be able to rent this place and pay my rent and put money away in savings," he said.

Casiano was one of the nearly 300 people who received money from the fund.

"It's definitely put me in a much more calm comfortable state," Casiano said.

The fund collected more than $29 million. The families of the 49 people killed received about $350,000 each. Those who were inside the club received anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000.

"I'm kind of in a place where, I'm like OK let's start school again, and let's find my car and work on my license," he said.

Casiano was shot twice. He still has nerve damage, so he can't drive or work, and still has to go through physical therapy.

But he said his therapy dog, Audrey, which he got shortly after the shooting, helps. He also is in a new relationship with a Pulse employee. He said they grew closer after June 12.

"Every single morning is a reminder. I wake up, and I wake up super thankful to be alive and breathe another day," he said.

The OneOrlando Fund is collecting donations until Jan. 1. The fund currently has $655,000 in it. OneOrlando board members will decide how that money should be disbursed after Jan. 1.

 


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