Running for Mental Health

The Fond du Lac Area YScreen Program is honored to have been chosen as the beneficiary of a fundraising effort by Cheryl Louden, who is running in the 2022 Boston Marathon in memory of her sister, Kelly. Please read Cheryl’s letter below, and consider making a donation.


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


Hello. My name is Cheryl Louden. I am a 2nd grade teacher at Evans Elementary School in Fond du Lac. This past February 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 some day. Her mental health and her alcoholism never allowed her to see this dream into fruition. This stuck with me.

It was my sister’s dream to run a marathon some day.

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

I ran my first and only marathon on September 19th, 2021 -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! Not too long ago, I found out that I would be running in Boston in the Boston Marathon. It’s one thing to qualify, but another to make it!

My husband and our daughters will make the trip to Boston with me, and on April 18th, 2022 I will compete. I am running not only for my sister, but for all of those who struggle with mental health issues. In doing so, I am raising money for YScreen, right here in Fond du Lac.

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

The Fond du Lac Area YScreen Program offers emotional health screening to youth at most public, private, and charter high schools, and through Juvenile Court Services in Fond du Lac County. 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. For all youth who participate, the YScreen process provides them a safe place to discuss their current functioning, coping skills, and support network.

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. 

I want to inspire people by pushing myself and I want people to realize that there is hope.

Please consider making a donation to YScreen. I would love to raise funds through this marathon and give back to this amazing program, and run in honor of my sister and all those who struggle and in doing so, raise money for mental health awareness.

I am asking if you would 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.

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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