Two weeks after a June 5 car accident that stirred neighbors in Butte Falls and Prospect to help, Wednesday will be a different kind of 17th birthday for Kaylee Biando.
"She'll be here in the hospital for her birthday," Kaylee's father, Kenn Biando, said. "I know her mom's going to make a tiramisu cheesecake."
What: "Walk for Kaylee," a fundraiser hosted by the Prospect Charter School cheerleaders for Kaylee Biando and her family
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22
Where: Supporters will walk through Prospect beginning at the Cascade Gorge Store
Kaylee's friends are also planning to bake a cake for the Prospect Charter School athlete and honor student, he added.
"She's going to be sugared out, I think," Biando said. "But that's OK. Anything to put a smile on her face."
Kaylee narrowly survived a rollover accident on Butte Falls-Prospect Highway while taking her brother to his eighth-grade graduation. She underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot and reduce swelling.
"She was right at the edge of death when they got her," he said. "She was in grave condition, but she's young and she's strong."
Kaylee is out of intensive care at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford and has started rehabilitation. She's making steady improvements, her father said.
"I'm happy with the baby steps. Every day she shows a little improvement, and that's what I need."
Kaylee still needs surgery on her hand, but she's driven to make a full recovery.
"An hour ago, she actually told me she wants to get up and walk," he said. "I just don't want her to over-push it — then she goes backwards."
Biando and his wife, Lori, have been taking turns making sure Kaylee is never alone at the hospital.
The experience has changed Biando's outlook on life, saying he makes a point to be more affectionate after his daughter's accident.
"I tell my kids I love them every day, but now I give them a big hug every day," he said. "You never know when something like this can happen."
The Biandos said they are grateful for the outpouring of generosity they've received from people in Butte Falls and Prospect, including donated gas, food and services, such as having their lawn mowed.
"Anything we need," he said. "The whole town's been real helpful."
A "Walk for Kaylee" fundraising event hosted by the Prospect Charter School cheerleaders will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22. Supporters will walk through Prospect beginning at the Cascade Gorge Store.
Reach newsroom assistant Nick Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.