Lafayette vet announces council bid

“I have the tools and passion to be really good at identifying and implementing what is needed and wanted by the people in my district."

Dr. Monique Koll

Dr. Monique Koll, a veterinarian whose personal triumphs over adversity became a viral sensation two years ago, says she will seek the District 5 seat on the Lafayette City-Parish Council.

Koll, no party, is also a real estate agent and author of the recent e-book, Determinational, recounting an October 2012 accident in which she was struck by an unlicensed motorist while bicycle-training for a triathlon. The accident left Koll with a broken neck and permanent partial paralysis following a two-month hospitalization in New Orleans, yet she managed the next spring to cross the finish line of the Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.

“Acadiana has helped me so much during my recovery, and this is a way I can serve the same community that helped me,” Koll says in a release announcing her candidacy.

Prior to the accident Koll had been a full-time clinical, emergency and research veterinarian. Post-accident Koll earned her real estate license to support herself and her 8-year-old son and also gained certification as a triathlon referee. She currently serves several volunteer roles in Lafayette’s civic life, including as a member of the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the city-parish president’s Awareness Committee for Citizens with Disabilities and Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Bicycle Subcommittee. Koll is the president of Bike Walk Louisiana and was the first executive director of Bike Lafayette.

“My background is in helping people,” Koll adds. “I have the tools and passion to be really good at identifying and implementing what is needed and wanted by the people in my district. I am fully prepared to really understand the issues and work together to solve them.”

Koll cites the “dissonance” that consolidation has brought to the finances of the city of Lafayette and the parish as an area that needs addressing by the incoming council. She also says drainage in District 5 and parishwide transportation issues will be a focus of her tenure on the council.

“I know that I can work with anyone and believe we need someone who will communicate, collaborate and work with the rest of the council and the administration,” Koll says. “Working together is the only way we will continue to move District 5 and all of Lafayette Parish forward.”

This photograph of Koll crossing the finish line of a half marathon in New Orleans with the assistance of her then-boyfriend just four months after a devastating spinal injury went viral in 2013 and was picked up by media worldwide. The original photo was snapped by Times-Picayune photographer Kathleen Flynn.