Runners turned up for a 5K in Kilgore last weekend to raise money for a child’s potentially life-changing treatment.
The “Battling with Brylie” 5K Run and Walk was held Saturday in downtown Kilgore with the aim of raising funds for a stem cell treatment for Brylie Kate Jones, daughter of Kelby and Stacie Jones. According to the “Battling with Brylie” Facebook page, Brylie suffers from a severe anoxic brain injury which occurred Sept. 7, 2017 when she was 3 months old.
“It went pretty well,” said Stacie Jones. “We raised about $500, so not as good as we hoped but pretty good.”
The funds were raised by 15 runners who participated and paid an entry fee of $25 for adults and $15 for kids. The 5K began and ended on N. Commerce Street.
All money raised will go directly towards the costs of a stem cell treatment in Panama City, Panama for Brylie.
Jones said her family is leaving Sunday, June 30 for Panama City in order for Brylie to receive the treatment.
“The hope is that some of the stem cells will help some of the damaged cells to heal, therefore it will restore some of the connections she’s lost in her brain,” Jones said.
As a result of her injury, Brylie struggles with several health issues, including cerebral palsy and epileptic seizures. She has also been declared legally blind.
Jones said the turnout for the 5K was encouraging, along with the support people have offered through Brylie’s Go Fund Me page.
“It’s very good. It’s very encouraging and very uplifting. Some people have come forward on a personal level and it gives you hope. It restores your faith in people.”
Jones said she chose Kilgore as the site for the 5K because the city administration was very helpful in organizing the event.
“The city was actually fantastic in working with us,” she said, adding she used to live in Kilgore.
She is hopeful the treatment will help Brylie improve and be able to do some of the things the injury prevents her from doing.
“We’re hoping that with this treatment that she’ll regain her smile and her ability to crawl or walk. The stem cell treatment has been really successful with kids’ vision,” she said. She’s hopeful the treatment may also help control some of Brylie’s seizures.
“Briley just turned 2 on June 9. It’s like a late birthday present.”
Jones said she and her family are considering creating a foundation to help other children in the area who may be dealing with serious health conditions.