'Tomorrow is a beautiful day, and it's worth fighting for'

EUGENE, Ore. - Scott Svetal was skateboarding through the intersection at Harris Street and East 20th near the University of Oregon last November when he collided with a car.

Scott was not wearing a helmet.

He suffered severe brain trauma and entered a coma.

He has spent the last five months at a rehabilitation center.

"You never think anything like this could happen," said Whitney Sweet, a sophomore at Oregon and a friend of Scott. "He was just skateboarding around campus.

"In high school, he went to state for cross country, participated in varsity soccer all four years, was the chess club president at the U of O before the accident."

The accident completely changed Scott's family's lives, said Scott's father Mike Svetal.

"In those moments, you just have a choice," he said, "and the choice is, keep fighting, because you get to make each day what you want to make it."

Scott is currently going through speech, physical and occupational therapy at Green Valley Rehab.

Mike says his son will be transferred to Oregon Rehab Center on Monday and should be back home sometime this summer.

"It's something no parent should ever have to go through," he said, "but, you know, we can't control what happens in life, only how we respond."

Friends and family are hosting a 5K run on Saturday to promote helmet awareness and to help with Scott's medical costs.

Scott's friend Whitney organized the event.

"I'm hoping to send out a message of helmet awareness to the community," she said. "I hope no one else has to go through the experience that his family and friends have had to go through the last 5 or 6 months."

"I ask him, what does he want people to learn about, or what does he want people to feel," Scott's dad said, "and he says, tomorrow is a beautiful day, and it's worth fighting for."

Saturday's run is free. There is no pre-registration required, and Scott will be there cheering everyone on.

5K run/walk: Saturday, 11a.m., at the Adidas Trail (near Amazon Park skate park)

Donations can be made at the event or online.