By Ann Rubin
St. Louis (KSDK) - He was hit by a car while running in a road race in Maryland Heights this winter. Now Chris Lister will get some help from other runners, who have planned a benefit track meet in his honor.
The hope is that this event will be competitive for the runners, fun for the spectators, and provide some much needed support for Chris Lister and his family.
Running was Chris Lister's passion. And the running community became like a second family to him. Then the accident happened.
"Then, they weren't sure he was going to make it. He did," said his father, Rick Lister.
He suffered a broken leg, cracked vertebra, and a serious head injury.
These last few months have been difficult; for every step forward in his recovery, there's been a step back.
This week it was an infection.
Still, his family hasn't left his side at Mercy Hospital. And neither has his "other" family.
"It's overwhelming. Since the accident, the support we've seen from the running community has been incredible. We had countless visits when he was in the ICU where the conversations started you don't know me but..." said Rick.
And now, the running community is going even further, lacing up for a track meet to raise funds for Chris.
The Festival of Miles features everything from races for kids to Olympic contenders.
"I just get goose bumps thinking about it because it's really neat. All these people, it's such a tight knit community, the running community here," said race director Ben Rosario.
The non-profit puts on the event each year, helping a different athlete in need.
Chris Lister has a long road ahead, but his parents are confident he'll make great strides.
They say while they're grateful for the donations, they're even more grateful for the support.
"As a family, it's more about the emotional. There's some days when you just don't know if you're going to make it so to hear something like that it's really. It gets you through it," said Rick.
With his head injury, Lister is able to respond but not yet to speak. He'll have to spend some time at a rehab facility.
Organizers hope to raise at least $8,000 Thursday. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the St. Louis University High School track. It's just $5 to attend.
If you can't attend you can still make a donation at:
Christopher Lister Recovery Fund
c/o Midwest BankCentre
8020 Forsyth Boulevard
Clayton, MO 63105
For more information on the track meet, click here.