In a show of support for injured Little 500 rider Lauren Gill, the IU Student Foundation has arranged for 1,500 stickers in the shape of bandages bearing the IU Nursing team’s rider’s name to be distributed at this weekend’s races.
The stickers are part of a weekend-long display of support, which will include a pre-race parade lap at Friday’s women’s race and a table accepting donations to go to Gill’s medical costs. As of Thursday, the Lauren Gill Recovery Fund had raised $7,691.
Gill was injured in an accident during a practice race April 17 and taken to Indianapolis’ IU Health Methodist Hospital, where she remains in treatment. A hospital official confirmed Thursday that her status had been changed from critical to serious condition, which is less severe.
In the accident, Gill made contact with another rider and was thrown from her bicycle, landing on her head and shoulders.
In a statement posted on IUSF’s Little 500 website, the Gill family said her recovery was underway.
“The extent of the injury to her brain still cannot be fully assessed, but there are some promising signs,” the family said in the Monday statement. “We hope to learn a little more each day. Her recovery will likely take several weeks or months. We ask that everyone continue to pray for her.”
IUSF Director of Communications Kathy Gutowsky said she was impressed with how quickly the IU and Little 500 communities banded together in support of Gill.
“I think it’s been impressive, amazing,” Gutowsky said. “You can see all the ‘likes’ on Facebook, they raised over $5,000 in three days ... I’ve been really impressed.
Especially the tight-knit Little 500 community, with the alumni and all of them. It’s been amazing.”
The women’s race is at 4 p.m. Friday, and the men’s race is at 2 p.m. Saturday. Gill’s IU Nursing team will start the race in 27th position.