BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dec. 13 would’ve been Wayde Sims' 21st birthday.
Sims, a basketball player at LSU, was shot and killed Sept. 28.
The family of Sims says they will never forget his competitive fire, his love of family, friends, and LSU, and his love of his “4-legged son,” Buddha, who was his emotional support dog.
To honor Sims, his family has created the Wayde Forever 44 Fund, which is an emotional support dog fund for LSU students. Students often experience great stress and anxiety over the pressure to make good grades and graduate. Emotional support dogs can help with that stress.
Buddha was a high school graduation present to Sims. His family says for him, living with and caring for Buddha became a crucial part of his adjustment to college life and managing the stress of being a Division 1 college athlete.
“The bond between Wayde and Buddha was so strong, I believe he would have lived under the overpass before giving up Buddha,” said Sims' mother, Fay.
Sims was able to register Buddha as an emotional support animal and was allowed to live with him on campus.
The Wayde Forever 44 Fund aims to help students with the sometimes hidden costs of having an emotional support animal, such as application fees, deposits at housing facilities, boarding costs when students need to travel, etc.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is partnering with Sims' family to make the fund a reality. Click here to donate to the fund.