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Thousands raise money, awareness for brain tumor research at Head for the Cure 5k

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Posted at 1:06 PM, Aug 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-28 14:12:08-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Around 5,000 people spent their Sunday morning helping raise money for brain cancer and brain tumor research in Overland Park, Kansas.

Head for the Cure celebrated its 20th anniversary Sunday at Corporate Woods in Overland Park. The 5k benefits KU Cancer Center, Children’s Brain Tumor Project, Solace House and the Brain Tumor Trial Collective.

One participant, Drew Houts with Team JPH, joined the Head for the Cure to honor his wife Julie Houts, who passed away after her diagnosis with glioblastoma in 2021.

"We're here today trying to keep her memory and legacy alive," Houts said.

Houts says he is working with Head for the Cure to create a platform that helps patients and families navigate their battle with glioblastoma.

"We've got somewhere around 220 people coming today and our team raised a little over $40,000. She'd be super happy. She'd be here pumped up and handing out doughnuts and coffee," he said.

Lisa Joerling, a brain tumor survivor, is also joining Head for the Cure. She was diagnosed nine years ago when she was a sophomore at Kansas State University.

"I woke up one morning and my entire right side was numb. So we went to the ER and they found a golf ball-sized ganglioglioma brain tumor," Joerling said.

She said the tumor caused nerve damage on her right hand and that she and her loved ones have been watching and waiting for the past nine years.

"Head for the Cure has given me such a great community of, not only survivors like myself, but just people who are here to raise awareness, raise funding," Joerling said. "It's just a really special day for people like me."

KSHB 41 News had a team taking part in the race. Reporter Jordan Betts is a two-time brain tumor survivor. Her morning teammates Anchor Taylor Hemness, Anchor Lindsay Shively, Reporter Charlie Keegan and Chief Meteorlogist Gary Lezak joined her for the race.