On Saturday morning, Mary Virginia Crites Hannah Park in Circleville was filled we runners for the fourth annual Cody D’s Run Walk, & Roll. The event is held in memory of Cody D. Stewart who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. The Stewart Family arranges this event to raise awareness and rally behind families that are personally affected by brain trauma.
According to the event Facebook page, “Each year, the event selects a local beneficiary with a goal to offer assistance to overcome any financial hardships from the expenses of incurring a brain injury. Cody D’s Run, Walk, and Roll has helped families the expenses of wheelchairs, medical equipment and rehabilitation expenses, donated to Traumatic Brain Injury research efforts, and purchased Christmas gifts for families in need.” Due to the growing support, the 5k was able to donate to two beneficiary families instead of its usual one.
This year, the even supported T.J. Ison and Kelly Smith. TJ Ison, a 2017 Teays Valley High School graduate, sustained his brain injury from an arteriovenous malformation shortly before his high school graduation. Kelly Smith, also a Pickaway County native, has fought his traumatic brain injury for several years following a motor vehicle accident. The event was able to raise $3,000 for each beneficiary.
Kelly was able to ride around the course with his family and friends supporting him and T.J. opted to walk across the finish line with “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background. According to T.J.’s family, he had been working hard in physical therapy for the ability to finish the race on foot.