Help stay on track in battle with KLS

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A highlight of the county high school track season takes center stage, Saturday, April 20, on the Lancaster High School track at the Rice Athletics Building.
The seventh annual KLS Running for Ryan features the county track meet at LHS. Boys and girls squads from Andrew Jackson, Buford, Indian Land and host Lancaster will be there to earn track bragging rights for the 2013 season.
In the past few years, Lancaster County has produced state champions and state qualifiers, and the annual meet seems to bring out the best from around the county.
“This is an event all the track athletes across the county look forward to being a part of each year,” said LHS athletic director Mark Strickland, a former LHS track coach. “A few years ago, we added the county track meet as part of the annual KLS event and I feel it’s only enhanced the event.”
The 2013 event marks the fourth year it has been with the Lancaster County track meet.
The KLS – Klein Levin Syndrome – Running for Ryan is held in memory of Ryan McKinney, a LHS track team member who graduated 2004.
McKinney died Feb. 17, 2006, of cardiac arrhythmia due to missed diagnosis and altered medications in treating KLS, a neurological disorder which is not life threatening, but life altering.
Since Ryan’s death, his mother – Donna White of Lancaster – has waged a personal campaign to raise awareness and funds for KLS through the events. Funds raised this year will also be used for a scholarship.
Track has always been a passion for White’s family.
White’s father, Floyd White is a former LHS assistant principal who coached track, girls basketball and football at LHS and Barr Street High School. White’s brother is Floyd White Jr., a track start at LHS who later ran track at Furman University.
“The idea to add the county track meet was to draw more people with more people involved and this would help us raise a greater awareness for KLS,” Donna White said.
KLS has no know cause or cure, but early detection can help reduce the fear and anxiety that accompany this rare disorder.
The meet begins at 10 a.m., with the opening ceremonies at 11 a.m.
Stephen Maier, co-president of the KLS National Foundation, will speak during the ceremonies, sharing his story as a KLS patient.
In addition, the event will feature storytelling by GiGi Scott, McKinney’s sister, face painting, inflatables, kids games and raffles.
Strickland and Dr. Johnny Dukes will prepare barbecue plates to be sold.
“It’s an event packed with plenty for the entire family,” White said. “We’ve had tremendous support before and we know this year will be outstanding.”
White said an 18-member event committee, which works throughout the year, is key in the event’s success.
“They are dedicated into making a difference,” White said. “Their work is why this event is a success.”
We urge all to take some time this Saturday to see a community on the move in speeding to defeat KLS. So far, it’s been a winning effort.