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GoFundMe for woman attacked at her west Sonoma County home exceeds goal

An online fundraiser for a west Sonoma County woman who was attacked at her home in January has exceeded its $75,000 goal and raised over $93,900 as of Wednesday.

More than 950 people have donated to the GoFundMe launched in February for Kathleen Harrison, according to the online fundraiser. The money is being used to pay for unplanned expenses while the 72-year-old ethnobotanist continues to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of the attack.

“As Kat's friends and family, we are asking for your support to help Kat recover peacefully from this violent trauma,” the GoFundMe reads. “We are so thankful she survived, and we want her to feel as comfortable and secure as possible while she navigates the healing process.”

On Jan. 9, a man broke into Harrison’s home and attacked her before leading Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase that ended on Occidental Road west of Santa Rosa.

Harrison was injured in the attack and suffered a laceration and strangle wounds, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The suspect, identified as Tai Kincaid, 43, of Santa Rosa, is facing six felony charges, including attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon, according to jail records.

Harrison knew Kincaid as someone who grew up in the area but was a “random” target, according to the fundraiser.

The fundraiser has helped Harrison receive both therapy for trauma and physical therapy for injuries she sustained in the attack, her daughter, Klea McKenna, said in an email.

“It has also allowed her to step back from work for a bit and and turn her focus toward healing and toward writing projects which have long been on the back burner,” McKenna said. “I think the immense generosity we've seen in her GoFundMe campaign speaks to how many people she has reached over the years through her teaching and mentorship.”

Harrison now is working on a book about what she’s learned through studying ethnobotany and Indigenous communities, McKenna said. She has worked for decades teaching the subject — which focuses on the relationship between people and plants — at the California School of Herbal Studies, through the nonprofit Botanical Dimensions and at local universities.

“We're thinking about the legacy of her work and how to share it, so while she works on a book, I am working on a collaborative documentary film about her fieldwork and 30-year friendship with an Indigenous Mazatec family in southern Mexico,” McKenna said.

For more information about the GoFundMe, visit bit.ly/3ezWqca.

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