Event honors Kaylie, Tyler
If you go:
What: Kaylie and Tyler’s 5k Rainbow Color Run celebration
Where: Allison Park, Sleepy Eye. In case of inclement weather, Sleepy Eye Public School;
When: Check in, registration, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; silent auction, 3:30-8:30 p.m.; meal (free-will donation), 5 p.m.; run/walk around lake, 6 p.m.; guest speakers University of Minnesota Football coach Jerry Kill, Kaylie, Tyler’s family, 7 p.m.;Christian musician Jason Gray, 7:30-9 p.m.
By Fritz Busch
SLEEPY EYE – Several thousand people are expected to take part in a memorial and fund-raising event Saturday afternoon at Allison Park on the southeast corner of Sleepy Eye Lake.
Deb and Scott Hadley of Sleepy Eye came up with a memorial 5k run/walk idea after Deb’s daughter Kaylie Hogue, 24, stopped breathing and died of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death by Epilepsy) on June 5, 2013.
Compounding the tragedy in the Hadley family was the death of Kaylie’s brother, Tyler Hadley, age 20, in a car accident on March 7 in Sleepy Eye.
The accident prompted the Hadleys to add Tyler’s name to the run/walk and to honor the other teens that died last winter in the same accident.
“Kaylie was training for a 5k run when she died, so we planned a 5k color run/walk in her honor and to raise money for epilepsy research and scholarships in her name at all three local schools,” Deb Hadley said. “We chose a color run because Kaylie was about fun, laughter and life. She loved to go to plays, concerts, watch movies, listen to music, was very kind hearted and had a deep love of family.”
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes people to have recurrent seizures. It is a brief disruption of brain electrical activity. It is not a mental illness or impairment and is not contagious, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
On March 7, the two-vehicle car accident in which Tyler died also took the lives of John Mangen, 18, and Payton Adams, 17, both of Sleepy Eye, and Caleb Quesenberry, 17, of Springfield. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 14 on a curve just west of Sleepy Eye.
Deb Hadley contacted University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill after the Kaylie’s death. Kill also has epilepsy.
Kill plans to attend Saturday’s event and will speak at 7 p.m.
“Coach Kill became interested in this after I sent him a brief message about what happened to Kaylie. I mentioned my concerns with his epilepsy and he invited me to meet him in his office,” Deb Hadley said. “We talked about Kaylie and learned both of them have many similarities. He assured me that Kaylie would save the lives of many and that he and Kaylie can make a positive difference to many people.”
Hadley said Tyler enjoyed sunsets, music, deep talks, shooting hoops, lifting weights, golf and being with friends and family.
Christian musician Jason Gray will perform and talk about his struggles growing up in an abusive home, overcoming a severe speech impediment and how God brings good out of every challenge.
Hadley said Gray instantly agreed to become part of Saturday’s event. “He has a remarkable faith in God and can help all of us on our journey as we face challenges in our own lives,” she said. “I’d like to thank everyone including many businesses and industries who helped us create this event.”
All proceeds will benefit scholarships at Sleepy Eye, St. Mary’s and Martin County West High Schools, (where Hogue taught) and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).