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Head for the Cure KC raises more than $400,000 with virtual fundraiser

In-person 5K cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 1:37 PM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 16:37:29-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A nonprofit in the metro is getting creative in the way it raises money and awareness for brain tumors and brain cancer.

"I never had any symptoms, nothing," said Jasmyn Ostmeyer, a brain tumor survivor.

Ostmeyer is running for her life -- a life that was almost cut short by a brain tumor -- as part of the virtual Head for the Cure 5K Run/Walk. Head for the Cure raises awareness and money for brain tumors and brain cancer.

"Luckily, my husband was driving and I had a seizure and that's kind of how they found it," Ostmeyer said.

She is not alone in this fight.

According to the National Brain Tumor Society, more than 87,000 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year.

It's that statistic driving this mom to run for a cause. The 5K went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are going to have our normal program," Jenna Heilman, executive director for Head For The Cure, said. "We are going to have a 5K that features some of our survivors and our loved ones who are running in honor of someone who has been diagnosed."

On Facebook and Youtube, the virtual event brings viewers along with people running for their loved ones.

"I am going to walk this last tenth of a mile with the two reasons why I run," said one runner. "My wife and my father-in-law."

Survivors like Ostmeyer also were featured.

"Let's do this for Head for a Cure," Ostmeyer said when starting her run.

With people having tighter budgets because of COVID-19, the nonprofit prepared for a possible low turn out. But, it turned out to be the opposite.

"Currently, with promised sponsorships still coming in and the amazing generosity of the Kennedy Family from the Royals, we have raised over $420,000 dollars," Ostmeyer said.

While Ostmeyer might want to stop while running, she will keep putting one foot in front of the other to "head for a cure."

"I hope that more people start researching and understanding and kind of seeing what people who live with a brain tumor go through. What it is can change so much," Ostmeyer said.