Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Tue, March 18 2014 at 6:04 PM, Updated: Wed, March 19 2014 at 12:13 AM
Medford, Ore. -- The community is coming together tonight to raise money to help offset medical bills for a Medford couple injured in a car accident last weekend.
A couple's family friend, Krystle Bowen, said Rachel and Jakob were on their way to the coast for a fun weekend getaway. They never made it.
"My heart was broken. It was that kind of ache you feel not only as a friend, but a mom," Bowen said.
Police are investigating what exactly happened, but both Jakob and Rachel were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Rachel is now out of the hospital, but Jakob is still at Rogue Regional Medical Center. He has had one surgery and faces more.
Feeling helpless, Bowen said a half marathon she has coming up had her brainstorming for fundraisers. Now, she's found her cause.
"I've run a half marathon before so why not actually do something a little more meaningful this time?" Bowen said.
She said it was the perfect opportunity. She made the fundraising page "Jakob and Rachel's - Run to Raise" on Sunday. Her goal was to raise $1,000.
"I just suggested you could donate $1 per mile during my training," Bowen said.
Her training includes 99 miles. She also suggested donated $13 since the race is 13.1 miles. Bowen said people who donate over $100 will get their name on the back of her racing shirt.
Her ideas took off. Within 24 hours Bowen had met her $1,000 goal.
"It's just an awesome way to see the community come together and support a young couple in a tragedy," she said.
And now, after just two days, over $4,000 has been raised. Her new goal is $7,500 by the half marathon in July. And with almost 800 shares on Facebook, Bowen said she is hopeful.
To donate visit http://www.gofundme.com/marathon-fundraising
NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.
She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.
She loves skiing and live concerts!