Outpouring of support for San Onofre Beach shark attack victim - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Outpouring of support for San Onofre Beach shark attack victim

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Hundreds on Monday night packed Los Tacos to help and support Leeanne Ericson, who was attacked by shark last month at San Onofre State Beach.

Leeanne, the single mother of three from Vista, has been at Scripps Memorial La Jolla since April 29th. She has undergone several surgeries and is expected to remain in the hospital for at least two months recovering from the attack.

Last month, Leeanne was swimming at San Onofre State Beach when she was attacked by a shark. Doctors said the wound on the back of her thigh, from her buttocks to her knee, remains open and will not have normal function in her lower extremity.

Leeanne's cousin, Kristin Aviles, on Monday hosted a fundraiser at Los Tacos in Oceanside. "She is such a strong woman, and I do not know if anyone else would have survived this the way she has. She has come out of this amazingly so far."

"I know she will have a hard time with recovery and hopefully she can walk again normally and raise kids at the same time. I knew we had to do something," said Los Tacos co-owner, Justin Jachura.

Leeanne's Pacific Marine Credit Union co-workers also hosted a fundraiser at That Pizza Place in Carlsbad, Monday night.

"What is amazing about Leeanne is she has such a strong powerful spirit about herself which makes us really want to reach out and support her even more," said Jennifer Topzand, Pacific Marine Credit Union co-worker.

Leeanne's mother did not wish to go on camera, but told CBS News 8 her daughter is now talking, in good spirits and a fighter - adding, the family has been touched by the outpouring of support which they said is crucial to Leanne's recovery.

"The fact they do not even know her, through media or word of mouth everyone just comes together," said Leanne's aunt, Kathy McKerney.

Twenty-percent of Monday night's sales at Los Tacos and That Pizza Place were donated to Leeanne.

$83,000 has been raised on GoFundMe, and an account has also been set up at Pacific Marine Credit Union for anyone who wishes to help Leeanne and her family.

Pacific Marine patrons can also donate over the phone by calling (760) 631-8700.

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