Last Year, Gate City officials organized a 5K run to raise money for the late Hayley White and her family while the young teenager battled a rare form of brain cancer.
The event was so successful that Gate City Mayor Frances Perry thought it would be a good idea to hold a fundraising run again this year.
“We had such a good turnout last year so we thought we would try to do something for someone when there is a need,” said Perry. “I know from firsthand experience that it’s difficult when families have to pay for travel expenses and hospital bills when a loved one has to seek special treatment. And I think it’s important for the community to pull together to help one another out.”
This year, the town is sponsoring a new 5K run called “Run for Baylee” on Saturday, July 27 at 8 a.m. to raise money for another young person who has spent the past few years battling health issues.
On Christmas Eve 2010, nearly three-year-old Baylee Nichole Dockery of Gate City suffered a prolonged grand mal seizure that forever changed her life.
“Baylee had a prolonged seizure that Christmas Eve,” explained her mother Rachel Dockery. “There was a lot of swelling on the brain and she was only given a 2 percent chance of living. Through prayer from family, friends, the community and churches, Baylee survived the ordeal.”
Shortly after the initial seizure, Dockery spent several months at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn. before being transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia.
“We were away from home for at least three months after Baylee’s seizure,” said Dockery. “So many people helped out. Many local churches, businesses and individuals basically helped financially support us during that time.”
Baylee’s older sister, Madison, is 10 years old and attends Shoemaker Elementary where the students also got involved and sold ribbons to raise money for the family.
Doctors have told the Dockerys that Baylee’s seizure in 2010 caused traumatic brain injury which created numerous medical conditions like frequent seizures, vision impairment, developmental delays and a movement disorder.
She is now 5 years old and attends the special needs pre-school program located at the Scott County Career and Technical Center.
She attends weekly physical rehabilitation in Bristol and is currently being treated at least four times a year at the University of Virginia’s Department of Neurology and Neuro-Ophthalmology in Charlottesville.
Dockery also sees cardiology, endocrinology and urology specialists in Knoxville, Tenn. for regular check-ups and treatments.
“We have actually been seeing the endo doctors quite a bit more recently, due to hormone levels,” added Dockery.
Doctors have tried different types of medications for the frequent seizures. The frequency of the seizures varies and she has at least one a day – sometimes four or five times a day, her mother explained. The seizures are usually very mild and last from 10 to 15 seconds.
Dockery’s parents, Rachel and Brad, work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for their 5-year-old but they know they are not alone.
“We are so thankful to God for bringing Baylee through this despite her chances given by doctors. We want to give God the praise for all he has done,” said Rachel Dockery.
The Town of Gate City along with the Rotary Club of Scott County and the State of Franklin Track Club are sponsoring the event. People interested in participating in the “Run for Baylee” can register at Town Hall at 156 E. Jackson Street or online at <www.townofgatecity.com> .
Runners who wish to pre-register need to do so by Wednesday, July 24 and the fee is $15. After July 24, the registration fee increases to $20. Children under 12 can register for $5. On-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at Town Hall on the day of the event.
Those who pre-register are guaranteed a T-shirt and most likely all participants will receive T-shirts.
The run begins at 8 a.m. on July 27. The starting line is located on Water Street near the former Daugherty Brothers dealership. Runners will make a loop through town with a few rolling hills and finish on Water Street at the municipal parking lot.
Fruit and water will be available for runners after the event.
Headphones and strollers are not permitted on the course. Awards will be presented at the end of the event to the top male and female runners.