Family hosting 5K 'Bug Run' to raise awareness, funds for kids with SMA

OLATHE, kan. - One Olathe family is turning their son's illness into a positive force. They're raising awareness -- and funds -- for other children with a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA.

They're holding a "bug run" in honor of their little bug Jadon, who was diagnosed with SMA as an infant.

SMA is a genetic disorder that kills more babies than any other inherited disease. It is the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two.

"We were basically told to expect Jadon to live maybe eight months if we were lucky," said Kristin Burks, Jadon's mother. Jadon is now 3-and-a-half years old.

"He's beaten a lot of odds," she said. "He fights SMA every single day."

Not only will the 5K walk-run benefit Jadon's Foundation, it will also help other families in the Kansas City area.

"We've connected with so many families across the U.S. that are impacted with SMA. They've become our family. So we want to help pass that on and help other families that are going to be impacted by this disease later on," Burks said.

The 5K will be held Sat., April 6, at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Olathe, Kan. A Bitty Bug Run will follow immediately after for children under five.

The route also goes past the Burks home, where Jadon will be outside cheering the participants on.

There are currently more than 500 people registered for the event. Late registration is still available. For more race information, go to

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