Running for Mental Health

The Fond du Lac Area YScreen Program is once again honored to be chosen as the beneficiary of a fundraising effort by Cheryl Louden, who is running the 2023 Boston Marathon in memory of her sister, Kelly. You can read Cheryl’s story below and make a donation.



Hello. My name is Cheryl Louden. I am a 2nd grade teacher at Evans Elementary School in Fond du Lac. In February 2021 my sister Kelly passed away due to mental health issues and alcoholism. She was only 41 and left behind 2 amazing boys. Many people struggle greatly with mental health issues and this cause is very close to my heart. Mental health is so often sadly misunderstood.  It was my sister’s dream to run a marathon someday. Her mental health and her alcoholism never allowed her to see this dream into fruition. This stuck with me.

After she passed away, I took up running even more than I ever had before. I wanted to see her dream through for her, since she no longer could. In doing so, it helped me to cope with her loss. I ran for her.

Running for Mental Health YScreen - Chery's sister Kelly.
Cheryl’s sister Kelly

On September 19th, 2021 I ran my first marathon, the Community First Fox Cities Marathon. My goal was to finish. My dream goal was to finish good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I did both! I decided that I wanted to honor Kelly’s memory by sharing her story in hopes of getting others to understand the importance of addressing mental health issues early.

My husband and our daughters all made the trip to Boston with me, and on April 18th, 2022 I ran and completed the marathon – not only for my sister, but for all of those who struggle with mental health issues and their families who strive to support them.

Running for Mental Health YScreen - Cheryl
Cheryl with Scott, her husband

I will be running the 2023 Boston Marathon and again will be raising money for the Fond du Lac Area YScreen Program. YScreen offers emotional health screening to youth at most public, private, and charter high schools in Fond du Lac County, and through Juvenile Court Services. If youth are identified as having a need for further evaluation and services, YScreen provides case management support to their parents/guardians as they get the youth connected. All youth who participate are provided a safe place to discuss their current functioning, coping skills, and support network. Read more about the YScreen process.


It is my hope and belief that if we can help those struggling at an early age, they will be more successful in the future and will have the needed coping skills to thrive. 


Through the loss of my sister, I want to give back. I want to run for those that struggle with mental health issues. There are countless reasons to live. I want to inspire people by pushing myself and I want people to realize that there is hope. The world is hard no matter what your age, even harder if you are going through mental health issues. If we can start young by reaching kids and helping them…. imagine the possibilities! We can change the way we live and that’s where I’m asking for your support. 

Please consider making a donation to YScreen. I want to support this amazing program, and run in honor of my sister and all those who struggle. My goal this year is to raise $6,000. The level of support I received last year was amazing, and this year I’m hoping to reach even more people with Kelly’s story.

I am asking you to make a donation per mile…$1 per mile for 26 miles (as a marathon is 26.2 miles), or $2 per mile if able to…or ANY donation to help this incredible and much needed cause. Read about how important donations are to YScreen.

Donations can be made through the form below, or by sending a check made out to FDL Area YScreen FDLSD to: Evans Elementary School ℅ Cheryl Louden, 140 S. Peters Ave., Fond du Lac, WI 54935.

Thank you for your consideration. YOU are changing lives. 

Cheryl Louden


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Updates from the 2022 Fundraising Effort:

CLICK HERE TO SEE COVERAGE OF CHERYL’S STORY ON NBC26

March 18th, 2022 Update from Cheryl:

We just reached $5,000!!! As of this week I’ve run 2,000 miles over the last year which is a record for me. I’ve got two long trainings run left (a 20 miler next weekend!) before I start tapering to get ready for the marathon which is exactly one month from today.

We are so excited as a family and even more excited to give back! We have the flight, hotel, and reservations for dinners booked. It is finally getting real! 

The support I’ve received on this journey has been amazing, and I’m thankful that so many people have been moved to donate to this life-saving cause!


April 18th, 2022 Update

On Monday, April 18th Cheryl completed the Boston Marathon! She ran the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 31 minutes – a phenomenal effort. Congratulations on your accomplishment, Cheryl!


Final 2022 Update

Cheryl’s efforts resulted in a total donation of $5,692 to the YScreen Program!!! We simply cannot thank Cheryl enough for all of the work she did to raise awareness about the importance of identifying mental health concerns early, and supporting those around us who are struggling.

We are also thankful for the many, many individuals and companies who donated to this fundraiser. In doing so, YOU have helped ensure that we can continue reaching youth throughout Fond du Lac County who are struggling, and providing them and their parents with vital information and support as they get connected to mental health services.