5K benefit for WSU student with brain injury

Staff writerApril 25, 2014 

The Kellen McCauley Fight On 5K is scheduled for May 4 in Olympia to raise support for a local man injured in an intramural softball game this month at Washington State University.

The run will begin at 11:05 a.m. at Olympia High’s Ingersoll Stadium. Participants are asked to wear crimson and gray, WSU’s school colors.

McCauley graduated from Olympia High School and is a sophomore at WSU. A minimum donation of $10 is requested.

For more information visit kellenmccauley.myevent.com. Participants can register by making a donation.

Tessa Effland, one of the race organizers, says McCauley’s parents, John and Jennifer McCauley, were packed and ready to head to WSU for the weekend on April 10 when they received a call that their son was injured in a softball game. He was hit 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.”

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

Effland says McCauley is still in intensive care but is 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, who is friends with McCauley family.

Effland says 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.”

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

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