Enquirer Herald

Race for Lee Saturday in Clover

Lee Killian, who turned 20 on Monday, will get an extra special birthday present from the community.

First United Methodist Church is extending a series of fundraisers held by the Clover community to help Killian, who was severely injured in an automobile accident.

The church will stage Race for Lee on Saturday in Clover, with all proceeds going to the Lee Killian Medical Fund. The 5K Benefit Race includes a 5K run and a 5K stroller division.

"It's about as good a present as you can get," Lee said.

It has been more than a year since Killian, a Clover High School grad and former stand-out pitcher, was injured when he lost control of his Chevy pick-up truck and hit a utility pole just days before his high school graduation. Lee's father, Jimmy, said the sustained commitment to help his son is an indication that Clover cares.

"It shows what type of community we live in," Jimmy said. "They've tried to help this young man, and us as a family."

Lee was also impressed with the many efforts.

"It's been a year and they all still show support," he said. "I find that amazing."

Tammy Adams, chairwoman of First United's Health and Welfare Committee, said she expects the run to make around $2,500 to $3,000 for the medical fund. She said the Run for Lee has seen a great reaction from Clover.

"We've had such a great response from the community," Adams said. "We thought it would be a great cause -- they're such a deserving family and we just really wanted to help out."

Groups that will be involved in the Run for Lee include students from Griggs Road Elementary School and Clover Junior High School. Additional donations also have been given by community members who will not be able to attend the event. Other family and friends of the Killian's will also run at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

Many benefits have been put together to help the Killian family handle the many medical bills. Jimmy said the extra money has allowed Lee to continue therapy.

Lee said the events have been very helpful, but the family still takes on many of his medical bill expenses.

"It's covered a lot," Lee said of the events, "but we still pay for a lot. Every little bit helps though."

Although much time has passed, Jimmy somberly said not much has changed in Lee's condition. Lee was told by doctor's that he would never be able to walk again. His upper body is fully-functional, and he's worked to strengthen it.

"He's still taking therapy," Jimmy said. "Physically, he's still trying to get a little stronger."

Lee said he attends therapy three days a week for two hours and every day is different. He also said he is enjoying online classes at York Technical College and studies a lot.

As he celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday, he said he could never receive a greater gift than the Run for Lee.

"You couldn't ask for a better present," Lee said.