Community rallies around sorority president after paralyzing accident

Photo taken from Kezerian’s Instagram profile. (@leeshykez)

Alysia Kezerian was hiking Misery Ridge Trail at Smith Rock State Park on Aug. 2 when she strayed off the path and fell down a steep section of rock. She was rescued by Deschutes County Search and Rescue and taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR.

The fall left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Since the fall, Kezerian’s friends say she has maintained a positive attitude. In an Instagram post on Saturday, Kezerian showed that she wasn’t done fighting.

Since the fall, people around the country have taken to Twitter to show their support for Kezerian with the hashtag #LeeshyStrong.

“She has the most optimistic attitude during this whole thing,” Chloe Harlig said. Harlig is a friend of Kezerian’s who flew to Bend from New York to visit her. “It’s so amazing to see how people have contributed, not only financially, but by sending their thoughts and prayers.”

A GiveForward campaign has raised over $83,000 dollars to help with Kezerian’s medical expenses. The goal was originally set at $50,000, but was reached in a few days.

Pi Beta Phi has coordinated efforts with other sororities and fraternities on campus to send flowers and cards to Kezerian. The sorority will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary in September. Kezerian was an ambassador for the sorority as well as its president.

“She’s had a big impact on many people,” said Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Justin Shukas. “She is a great leader on campus.”


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