Run shows glowing response
By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
ELLIS -- Walter P. Chrysler Park lit up Saturday night as approximately 300 participants ran through the town supporting the Beisner family. Family and friends raised funds to help offset the cost of a surgical procedure necessary to improve the quality of life for those with Parkinson's Disease.
Kelly Beisner was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2004, and after 10 years of medication, he is needing additional help.
The surgical procedure Deep Brain Stimulation was recommended. DBS is a four-surgery procedure in which electrodes are put through the brain to stimulate the brain stem.
The surgery will be done in Kansas City, Mo., and requires transportation fees along with the cost of the surgery.
Ava North, Ellis, has been a longtime friend of the family, and her daughter is close to the Beisner's daughter, Grace, 11.
"The day Sandy (Kelly's wife) contacted me and told me they were going to do the surgery, she wanted me to explain the situation to my daughter in case her daughter needed a friend," North said.
"My daughter and I sat down, and she said to me, 'Mom, this is going to be really expensive,' " North said. "She said, 'A lot of people do fundraisers. Maybe we should do a fundraiser.'"
While searching for fundraising ideas, North came across the idea of hosting a Glow Run.
For $5, or $15 for a family, participants dressed in glow-in-the-dark attire and ran the 1.6-mile race. A Glow Dance and Glow Obstacle Course followed.
"I'm just in awe of all the support," Kelly said. "I couldn't really imagine this."
Kelly said he's been very fortunate, since Dyskinesia didn't hit until a few years ago.
"One of the hardest things was telling the children," Sandy said. "We didn't tell them until a couple years ago when his feet would freeze and he started stumbling. You never think you're going to have to tell your children something like that. We basically said this is a disease that will not shorten your father's life; it will only affect his quality of life."
Grace and Taylor, 15, had several questions.
"Our daughter asked, 'Will he be able to walk me down the aisle when I get married?' " Sandy said. "We've tried to be open and honest. It was difficult, but at the same time, we were able to say this isn't something that is going to kill your father."
"I don't know what is yet to come and on what level, and when it's going to hit," he said. "Explaining that to your kids is the hardest part. You don't know on what level it's going to come on, so you try to make the best of everything."