By Lisa Capobianco
Southington native Brian McKernan had just started training for a new season of races this past September. One day he was running outside near his home in Lynbrook, Long Island when suddenly a car struck him.
McKernan has suffered near-fatal injuries, including a blood clot in the brain, which has since been completely treated. Although he has just started to walk, McKernan will continue to undergo extensive rehabilitation at home.
“He is so positive about everything even though he is going through hell,” said Michael Collin, a close friend who has known McKernan since middle school.
Collin and a group of friends who graduated from Southington High School with McKernan plan to hold a benefit dinner later this month to help raise money for his treatment. So far they have started an online fundraiser on youcaring.com called “B-Strong, which has received over 180 supporters. So far, McKernan’s friends have raised almost $17,000. Their ultimate goal is $25,000.
“Everyone has been so generous,” Collin said. “It is a nice way to get the community together.”
Described by his friends as a loving husband and passionate sociologist who puts others before himself, McKernan is fighting to regain is strength. Trevor Grayson, who has known McKernan since elementary school, said he wants to help out his best friend in any way he can.
“He is one of the nicest people I know,” Grayson said. “He makes sure that everyone has a good time.”
The benefit dinner will take place on Friday, Nov. 29 at Polish Falcons Nest 307 from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Besides food and drinks, the event will also feature raffle prizes including gift cards, a flat screen television, an acoustic guitar donated by KORG and Lag Guitars and concert tickets donated by Live Nation, CT.
Although McKernan will not be able to attend, he will join guests via Skype to spend time with his family, friends and supporters.
Collin said he hopes members of the community will come out to celebrate McKernan’s strength, courage and resilience while raising money for his recovery.
“We all still have Southington as our home base—it is nice to rally up Brian’s friends and the community to bond over helping each other through those tough times,” Collin said.
Anyone interested in attending the event can buy tickets during regular business hours at Serafino Pharmacy or at the Law Office of Kelly, Crispino & Kania. Tickets cost $20 and any remaining tickets will be available at the door. Donations can also be made at www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/b-strong/89948.