Cause for Kindler 5K raises awareness for Pheochromocytoma


Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

Visitors to the Baldwin City Golf Course will be leaving their clubs at home on Saturday, Sept. 12, in order to participate in the first Cause for Kindler 5K. Hosted by the late coach Zach Kindler’s family, Cause for Kindler was put together to promote Pheochromocytoma awareness and to raise money for the Zach Kindler Scholarship fund.

Zach Kindler served as head coach of Baker’s track and field team since 2007 before passing away due to an undiagnosed rare adrenal gland tumor known as Pheochromocytoma. Sara Kindler, Zach’s wife, says this 5K is for Zach and their children and also for awareness and education of the tumor.

Pheo tumors can be diagnosed when the symptoms are properly tested. Unfortunately, many of these tumors are diagnosed during the autopsy of patients who suffered from Pheochromocytoma.

For Sara, putting together a 5K is a new experience.

“I really don’t know what I’m doing … but family and friends helping have pulled it all together,” she said in an email interview.

One of those friends helping put this event together is the current director of cross country and track and field, Tim Byers. With the help of Byers, the entire track and cross country team will be at the event.

“The student athletes will either run in the event or volunteer to help Sara put on the event,” Byers said in an email interview. “Not a lot of people know of Pheochromocytoma. Knowing the symptoms and proper diagnosis is key. Zach was a great family man and coach. He will forever be in our hearts. We miss him dearly.”

One student athlete who would agree with Byers is junior Shelby Stephens, When asked what made Kindler such a good coach she said, “He was just so positive and he only saw good things out of our team.” Shelby plans on running in the 5K to honor coach Kindler.

A portion of the money raised for the Cause for Kindler 5K will be donated to the Pheo foundation, while another portion will be donated to the Zach Kindler Scholarship Fund at Baker University. Those who would like to run or walk in the 5K can register online at the Cause for Kindler website for a fee of $25. On the website you can also find links to give donations and become a sponsor for this event.