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Charly Haley, Published October 20 2012

‘Miles for Mark’ at Mini Marathon

WEST FARGO – The lives of the Schreiner family changed forever on Aug. 7, 2010, when Mark Schreiner, a husband and father, sustained a severe head injury at WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Now, he is in a semi-comatose state.

Although the accident happened more than two years ago, the Schreiners have continued to receive support. On Saturday, that support came in the form of the third annual “Miles for Mark” fundraiser at the F-M Mini Marathon.

“It’s really a hard situation,” said Tom Nelson, one of the four Schreiner family friends that helped organize the fundraiser.

Nelson described how Mark Schreiner, as a farmer, was the main source of income for his family, and much of the family’s difficulties are financial. Mark’s wife, Shelly Frisch Schreiner, is a figure skating coach and often works odd hours, Nelson said.

Miles for Mark is one of many fundraisers for the Schreiner family, although the amount of fundraisers and donations has decreased since the first year after the accident, Nelson said. Miles for Mark is not only to support the Schreiner family but also to honor Mark Schreiner, because he was an athlete and track runner at Moorhead High School.

There also will be a third annual golf tournament fundraiser for the Schreiners sometime in summer or fall 2013, Nelson said.

Support from these fundraisers alleviates some of the difficulties, but it is still challenging for Shelly Schreiner. She and Mark have two children, Samantha, 10, and Tommy, 6.

“They have a father who’s living technically, but he can’t communicate with them,” Nelson said. “He’s there, but they don’t have a father, and Shelly doesn’t have a husband, not really.”

It’s still unclear exactly what happened when Mark Schreiner sustained the head injury at WE Fest.

“No one really knows what happened,” Nelson said. “There’re a lot of theories, and there’re a lot of things that don’t make sense.”

The Schreiners weren’t the only family with a benefit at the F-M Mini Marathon.

In addition to Miles for Mark, there was also “Race for Jace,” a fundraiser to benefit the family of Jace Pederson, a baby whose mother, Tami Pederson, suffered a brain aneurysm while she was pregnant. She died June 16, but Jace survived.

Tami Pederson’s uncle, Scott Bates, said Race for Jace was one part of an outpouring of support for baby Jace and his father, Trent Pederson.

“It’s fantastic,” Bates said, “when the community comes together. It’s wonderful to see people coming out to help someone in need.”

To donate to Jace’s foundation, visit www.fargominimarathon.com/raceforjace.htm, and to donate the Schreiner family, visit www.markschreiner.com.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311