Hartselle natives ready to represent Team Kayleigh

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

 

It has now been a few months since young Hartselle native Kayleigh McLendon was diagnosed with brain cancer and the people of Hartselle are still banding together to do all they can for her. Kayleigh is seven years old and  attends Crestline Elementary School. The people of Hartselle have been doing everything they can to support her in the fight and many are still thinking of more ways to help. Among those looking to help include, Hartselle Junior High teacher and coach Shane Alexander, and State Trooper Justin Jones. Alexander and Jones are working together to organize a team that will run a half marathon in Kayleigh’s honor.

Both men have grown quite accustomed to the sport of long distance running. “I was in the Army so I was used to running” Alexander said, “I had never really thought clocking the distance I ran until someone told me I should try marathons. I’ve been running them ever since.” Jones has a similar story that led him to distance running. “I did my fair share of running in the police academy” Jones said “but then I never viewed it as anything more than just something I had do. I certainly didn’t think it was fun.” Jones would continue. “I actually got started doing distance running because of a dare. A friend said I couldn’t do one then dared me to do one” Jones said, “After that I found I really enjoyed it.”

As easy as they made it sound, marathon running takes a lot of work. Alexander has sent several running schedules and nutrition plans to others who have been interested in distance running to try and help them get started. “It’s a lot different than you might think because it’s not like sprinting where you do so much and then your done. I’ve actually been running with other people and having conversations while we ran.” Alexander said, “it takes a lot of work and endurance.” Jones would add. “I think the biggest thing is repetition” Jones said “if you get out and a run a certain distance for a couple weeks and then increase it by so much eventually you will build up your endurance.”

Alexander has run several events that include 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. However, he says his favorite is without a doubt the St. Jude’s run. “When you run that event they bring children who came from the hospital out there and they hold signs cheering you on,” Alexander said.  “Later you run by the hospital and you see the ones that couldn’t make it outside holding up signs as well and that just refuels your energy to make it through the race.” Alexander would continue. “Justdoing the run and knowing what your doing for those kids makes you feel good” Alexander said, “but when you see how much money you actually raise your just blown away.”

Running the St. Jude’s race is what has led Alexander and Jones to do what they are now doing. Like most people in Hartselle, the two were very affected and heartbroken when they received the news of Kayleigh’s diagnosis. “Kayleigh is someone I have coached and she’s played softball with my daughter and we’re very close with her and her family” Jones said. “To have something like that to someone so close to home is just heartbreaking.” Alexander would add on. “When you hear that you just think about what if that was your kid?” Alexander said, “That’s why we want to do everything we can to help.”

The two will be leading a team that will represent Kayleigh in a half marathon run in Memphis, Tenn.., where St. Jude’s hospital is located. So far, they over 30 signed up to run the race.They are hoping to take around 50. All the proceeds will go to the St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis, which is where Kayleigh is being treated.

The run will take place in the beginning of December. If you would like to donate you can go to st.jude.org and click find participant, once you are there you will type in either Shane Alexander or Justin Jones. From there you will click on search results and then click donate now. 718

Falkville

Storm shelter companies see increase in calls for installation

Falkville

Morgan County rabies clinic to be held June 1

Eva

Community class reunion celebrates Morgan schools

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hats off: Class of 2024 graduates from Hartselle High School

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

City adjusts garbage routes for Memorial Day

Falkville

Larry Madison has been a pillar in Falkville for four decades

Hartselle

Hartselle trio nominated for two K-LOVE awards

Hartselle

Hartselle students chosen to attend Girls State

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Kiwanis Club continues scholarly legacy with annual golf tournament

Editor's picks

Heartbreaking finish: Hartselle comes up a run short in state baseball finals

Decatur

Fallen Morgan County officers remembered, families honored  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle drops Game 1 to Hillcrest, needs two wins for state title

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Despite title loss, Hartselle thankful for state experience 

Editor's picks

Hartselle baseball legend dies

Breaking News

Hartselle baseball legend William Booth dies at 79

At a Glance

ALDOT patching area of Thompson Road tomorrow, Thursday

At a Glance

Spring-time market day in Hartselle scheduled for May 18 

Hartselle

New Crestline Elementary School welcomes students

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle industry closing, affecting more than 150 jobs  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Habitat for Humanity applications for homeownership available June 3 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

State seeking death penalty for Fort Payne woman accused of pushing victim off cliff

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Pilot of ultralight dies in Hartselle plane crash

Editor's picks

Northern lights visible from north Alabama

Hartselle

Hartselle students to attend Boys State

x