Friends holding 5K to support Olympia High grad injured at WSU

Staff WriterApril 23, 2014 


Olympia High senior Kellen McCauley leads the Bears football team onto the field for Friday night's season-opening football game against the Tumwater T-Birds at Tumwater District Stadium on Sept. 2, 2011. The Bears jumped all over Tumwater early with a 27-0 first half lead. (TONY OVERMAN/Staff photographer)

TONY OVERMAN — The Olympian

The Kellen McCauley Fight On 5K is scheduled for May 4 in Olympia to raise support for an Olympia High graduate injured in a intramural softball game earlier this month while attending Washington State University.

The run is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. at Olympia High’s Ingersoll Stadium and participants are asked to wear crimson and gray, WSU colors. A minimum donation of $10 is requested.

Tessa Effland, one of the race organizers and a friend of the McCauley family, said McCauley’s parents, John and Jennifer McCauley, were packed and read to head to WSU for mom’s weekend on April 10 when they received a call that their son was injured in a softball game. He was his by the ball while walking back to the dugout, Effland said.

“He finished the game seeming fine until heading home with his fraternity brothers,” Effland said via email. “His slurred speech indicated to his friends he needed help. He did.

“He was urgently airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane while his parents drove from Olympia to meet him. A grueling 5.5 hour drive. He needed emergency surgery to relieve the pressure in his brain. They (the parents) were on the phone with the surgeon still driving to Spokane. A parent’s nightmare.”

He was on a ventilator and feeding tube when he came out of surgery, and on April 17, he needed a second surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, Effland said. This time surgeons removed a portion of his skull.

Effland said McCauley is still in intensive care but talking more clearly, has regained some movement in his left leg, and has some tingling in his right arm.

“He is in for (the) marathon of his life,” said Effland.

Effland said the May 4 run “is a time to get together and raise the hopes of this amazing family while raising funds to cover the astronomical hospital bills that are accruing.”

For more information on the fundraising event, visit Register for the run by making a donation.

The event is open to runners, walkers and those pushing strollers.

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