As you may or may not know, I have many things that I am passionate about.  This GoFundMe is more like a GoFundUs where the things that I am passionate about can come together: family, teaching and running.

I met Jadon Burks and his family when he came to Rolling Ridge Elementary School where I teach.  My life was forever changed when a parent at our school, Amy Vrban, decided to put on a 5K to raise money for a student at our school, Jadon Burks, has Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  I had no idea what SMA was until our first committee meeting.  SMA is the #1 genetic killer among infants under the age of two.  What?  Why had I never heard of this before?  How did I know nothing about SMA?  I learned even more facts about SMA that were startling such as 50% of SMA Type 1 babies don’t live to see their first birthday and that 90% of SMA Type 1 babies don’t live to see their second birthday.  

After learning the facts and learning of this heartbreaking genetic disease, I wanted nothing more than to volunteer to be on the committee for the race.  But what I didn’t realize was that I was going to meet some extraordinary people along the way:  The Burks family.  I am blessed to know Tony, Kristin, Jadon, and Gracyn.  Jadon’s parents are hands down some of the most wonderful people that I have ever met.  I have grown to love not only this family but the entire SMA family.  I found myself thinking that this is exactly where I needed to be: running and family together!  I have two of the three things that I am passionate about, but I want all three together!

And this is where we need to raise money: Getting our students at Rolling Ridge involved in the race.  And I want ALL the students to have the opportunity to join in this amazing cause and support a classmate!  Rolling Ridge is a title one school and about 70% of our families are on free or reduced lunch.  Over the last three Bug Runs we have had about 50-60 students each year.  This is devastating because our school has a population of about 450 in grades K-5.  I believe the reason we don't have many students participate is because the reduced price of $15 is still too much money for many of our families especially families with multiple kids.  I want our students to be passionate about supporting a cause and supporting Jadon, who is now a 1st grader at Rolling Ridge Elementary!

Just think, by donating $15 you are supporting a student at Rolling Ridge to run for this wonderful cause!  

Side note:  The Jadon's Hope Foundation is sponsoring me at the Boston Marathon on April 18th, 2016 so that we can spread more awareness of SMA from Kansas to Boston!!!  I mean, how awesome is that!  But what is even more awesome is that the fourth annual Jadon's Hope Bug Run is April 30th, 2016 and I can't wait to come back from the Boston Marathon and hopefully run with all of our students at Rolling Ridge!!!

For more information about SMA or becoming a sponsor for the 2016 Jadon's Hope Bug Run, please visit www.jadonshope.org


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  • Sam and Susan Gutovitz 
    • 20 $ 
    • 61 mos
  • Grandma and Grandpa Wahl 
    • 25 $ (Offline)
    • 61 mos
  • Mary Mozingo 
    • 20 $ 
    • 61 mos
  • Janet Wahl 
    • 15 $ 
    • 61 mos
  • Cindy Friedman 
    • 25 $ 
    • 61 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Katie Friedman Horner 
Olathe, KS
Jadon's Hope Foundation 
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