Katie’s Kause 5K Run/Walk set for Saturday

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

By Lucy Parker

The Daily News

With proceeds helping to fund the next stage in Katie Breland’s continued recovery from a 2011 car accident, the Katie’s Kause 5K Run/ Walk will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Washington Parish Fairgrounds in Franklinton.

Racers can pre-register for $20 anytime before Saturday. Registration packets are available at the Franklinton Police Department or online, by searching for the event listing for the 5K on Facebook. Registration will also take place on race morning, with the fee increasing to $25.

Justin Brown, one of the race organizers and FPD major, said Breland led a physical lifestyle and often competed in races prior to a vehicle accident last October. During the accident, Breland was ejected from the vehicle. The automobile rolled on top of her, and the accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Since that time, she has undergone multiple surgeries and has been in rehabilitation, Brown said.

“Her goal is to ultimately walk again, which she has a very good chance of doing, and then eventually end up competing again and racing,” he said.

As a physical therapist working in Bogalusa, Breland helps other people who have experienced debilitating injuries, Brown said.

“She uses her experience in the life that she’s come to know right now to be able to motivate people to get back to doing the things that they were once accustomed to doing,” he said.

Breland has been invited to go to Michigan in January to train with Mike Barwis at his Barwis Methods facility, Brown said.

“This benefit race is to assist in the cost and expenses of sending her up there to train,” he said.

Giving some background, Brown said Barwis is a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Michigan. He is also trainer to Brock Mealer, who was left paralyzed after he and his family were involved in a car accident in Michigan.

“Brock’s brother played football for the University of Michigan and he would go with him to do workouts and stuff at the university; and that’s where he came into contact with Mike Barwis,” he said. “Mike Barwis took Brock under his wing and helped him train and rehabilitate and then ESPN’s E:60 did a show on it.

“Brock Mueler led the team out onto the football field, actually walking.”

The Katie’s Kause event will be held in the area near Kuhnland, the children’s playground, and 5K participants will follow a 3.2-mile course beginning at the bridge on Fairground Road. Participation is also open to children, with a shorter course mapped out for them, Brown said.

The first, second and third place finishers in various age groups will be recognized, as well as the overall winners, Brown said.

Refreshments; fuel for the racers, such as bananas and oranges; and water will be provided by one of the event’s corporate sponsors, Progressive Waste Solutions, Brown said.

Brown said he is excited to be a part of the event.

“I believe that through Katie’s faith, her work ethic and her determination, that she will in fact achieve the goal that she has set for herself,” he said. “She’s a very hard worker. She’s very determined and dedicated.”

Breland has already overcome a great deal and is making progress toward reaching her goals, Brown said.

“I’ve got all the faith in the world that she’ll be able to do it,” he said.