Denver officer credits jiu-jitsu for saving his life after injury at Nuggets parade

In the midst of a whirlwind of emotions, Denver police sergeant Justin Dodge finds himself overwhelmingly grateful. Among the sentiments coursing through him, gratitude takes precedence.

“I am grateful and humbled,” Dodge expressed.

His journey led him through a serious injury suffered during the Denver Nuggets’ triumphant parade earlier in the summer. Caught beneath a formidable fire truck, Dodge faced adversity that required extensive surgeries, including a leg amputation. In the aftermath, his days were predominantly consumed by recovery efforts. However, a recent event marked a pivotal moment as he emerged into the public eye, radiating smiles and optimism.

“This is unreal,” Dodge articulated to the captivated audience within the National Western Complex. His gratitude and awe reverberated through the room. “Thank you, guys. This is awesome to see.”

Community Unites in Support

A profound display of unity transpired as a multitude of individuals hailing from various corners of Colorado converged for the “Roll for Justin” jiu-jitsu seminar. A donation-based initiative, this event took shape with the aim of raising funds to bolster Dodge’s recovery journey.

“We aspired to foster a sense of community through this endeavor. Jiu-jitsu excels at achieving just that,” asserted CSP Maj. Brandon Means, the driving force behind the event.

Dodge’s affiliation with jiu-jitsu stretches back nearly three decades, and he attributes this martial art to being the lifeline that safeguarded him. The amalgamation of physical prowess and mental fortitude acquired over the years played a pivotal role in his resilience when trapped beneath the weight of a colossal fire truck.

Reflecting on his unprecedented challenge, Dodge shared, “I never thought that the most formidable adversary I would ever face would be an 80,000-pound truck. Yet, amidst the unfolding ordeal, it was jiu-jitsu that kept me alive. I wholeheartedly believe that.”

Community Support Elevates Resilience

The emergence of the “Roll for Justin” campaign in the aftermath of Dodge’s injury demonstrated the power of community solidarity. Over the course of eight weeks leading up to the event, a remarkable sum exceeding $45,000 was raised.

“The sum amassed doesn’t solely encompass today’s contributions,” Means articulated. He continued, “We have launched a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia and MMA gear, extending for a week. Every penny collected will contribute to Justin’s path to recovery.”

The event saw participation from a myriad of individuals, including MMA fighter Chris Camozzi. Camozzi’s connection with Dodge harkens back to their partnership as colleagues at the Denver Police Department.

He reflected on the essence of unity and mutual assistance within the community, highlighting the camaraderie that pervades his family’s connection with law enforcement. “We endeavor to stand united and offer our support,” Camozzi shared, “In observing Justin’s attitude, we glean insights. Despite adversity, he maintains a resilient smile that endures.”

Resilience Beyond Adversity

A vibrant smile radiating gratitude and unwavering determination characterizes Dodge’s demeanor.

He imparts a potent message of perseverance and triumph, sharing, “Through the challenges, you can rise and flourish, transcending mere survival when adversity strikes.”

In the narrative of Justin Dodge, jiu-jitsu emerged as not just a physical practice but a transformative force that breathed life into his spirit, redefining his journey towards recovery.

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