ST. GEORGE — A 5K fun run and walk is being held Saturday at Snow Canyon High School to help Kelly Durade, a St. George resident, registered nurse, wife and mother who recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor around her carotid artery that was pushing on the optic nerve and causing blindness in her right eye.
Kelly Durade is a registered nurse who works at Mesa View Regional Hospital in Mesquite, Nevada. She is a wife and mother of two girls.
In April of this year, she noticed that she couldn’t see out of her right eye. Her peripheral vision was all but gone, her husband, Dan Durade said. And her vision from the front was blurry and unfocused.
She went to an eye doctor who believed the problem might be glaucoma, a progressive blinding disease. Not satisfied with that answer, Dan Durade said, they opted to have a second opinion.
The second doctor ordered an MRI, which revealed the brain tumor around her carotid artery.
If not removed, the tumor most likely would have caused permanent blindness, a post to the 5K’s Facebook event page said.
To give Kelly Durade the optimal chance of recovering her sight, the family decided to have the surgery done at the University of Utah Hospital. Even though they have medical insurance, the University of Utah Hospital is out of their network, leaving them with a large amount of medical expenses.
To further complicate matters, not long after Kelly Durade’s diagnosis, Dan Durade lost his job. Though he acknowledged that the loss of his job came at a difficult time, he was also quick to point out that he is grateful for the time he has been able to spend at home helping his wife recover and taking care of their girls.
Unfortunately, this left his wife as the sole provider for the family at a job she is no longer able to do now that she has undergone surgery to remove the tumor and is in recovery and rehabilitation.
The surgeons were successful in removing 100 percent of the tumor which was noncancerous, Dan Durade said, but it could take months for her sight to return, and there is still a possibility it won’t. Kelly Durade will spend at least the next 6-8 weeks letting her brain heal and undergoing physical and occupational therapy as she rehabilitates from the invasive surgery.
Kelly’s Fight for Sight 5K
“Kelly’s Fight for Sight 5K” was organized by Kelly Durade’s friend and co-worker, Renee Renick, who was moved to create the fundraising opportunity by a conversation with Kelly Durade.
In a post to the 5K’s Facebook event page, Renick wrote of their conversation:
We sat talking about Kelly’s fears about the future of her health and her family’s welfare, when she said to me ‘What are we going to do? I’m not the mayor or anyone important. Who is going to care about me and contribute to my fundraising efforts, I’m just a nobody.’ At that moment I knew I had to do something! My friend is not a Nobody! She is a Beautiful Somebody who deserves health and vitality and love and support and financial assistance.
Renick said that as a nurse, Kelly Durade has dedicated her life to the health and wellness of others, adding that she hopes the community will now come together to help her friend.
Renick describes Kelly Durade as a vivacious, lively, strong and determined soul who is always trying to put a positive foot forward, even in difficult times. She loves her job, Renick said, and does not want her career to be over or to have her life come to a standstill.
“Everybody would want Kelly as a friend; she is the life of the party,” Renick said. “She is spunky. She is a small little thing, but she has a big spirit, a big presence.”
As part of the Kelly’s Fight for Sight 5K, signs with fun information about Kelly Durade’s life and passions will be placed throughout the 3.1-mile course so that runners can feel like they are getting to know her, Dan Durade said. The event will also include a bake sale and opportunity drawing for great prizes following the race.
This is an untimed race, though some members of the Snow Canyon High School Cross Country team will be timing the race with stop watches, Dan Durade said.
Registration is available online or at the event. Packet pickup will take place at the event prior to race start. Registration fees are $20 for adults, $25 with opportunity drawing ticket; $10 for youth 18 and under, $15 with opportunity drawing ticket; and $40 for a family (group of four). Additional opportunity drawing tickets are 5 for $20 or $5 each.
A GoFundMe account has been set up in Kelly Durade’s name to help with medical and cost-of-living expenses as well.
- What: Kelly’s Fight for Sight 5K run and walk
- When: Saturday, June 25, 7 a.m.
- Where: Snow Canyon High School, 1385 N. Lava Flow Drive, St. George
- Cost: $20 for adults, $25 with opportunity drawing ticket; $10 for youth 18 and under, $15 with opportunity drawing ticket; and $40 for a family (group of four). Additional opportunity drawing tickets are 5 for $20 or $5 each.
- Register: online or at the event
- Packet pickup: Packet pickup will be held the day of the event prior to race start
Email: [email protected]
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