Journey For Jo 5K

Journey For Jo 5K

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A 5K raising money for a rare cancer.

The Jo Bryant Memorial Foundation is organizing the Journey For Jo 5K Run/Walk & Kids Dash to raise money and awareness for cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer.

Kate McNeil founded the organization after her mother, who taught for USD 501 for 43 years, found out she had the rare disease.

“She [was] a big part of the Topeka Community especially as a teacher,” said McNeil. “There’re so many people around Topeka that had her as a teacher or their kids had her or sometimes she had the parent and then she had the kid, even.”

McNeil says her mother died less than a month after she found out she had cholangiocarcinoma. She and her sister started the foundation soon after their mother’s death.

“My sister and I thought this rare cancer that nobody’s heard of needs more attention, we need to help do something,” said McNeil. “You feel so helpless with a cancer like that.”

McNeil says they wanted everyone to understand they don’t have to run, they can walk and kids are invited to join in the fun.

“We really wanted to make it a fun event so whether you know about the cause or not you’d enjoy it so that’s part of why we have the kids race. It’s very family friendly, you can push your kids in a stroller, bring a wagon, you can run or walk,” said McNeil.

This year they have a live DJ, a facepainter provided by Kansas Ballet Academy , balloon artist, Papa Murphy’s pizza, Panera Bagels, and bananas and water provided by HyVee.

Last year the 5K raised $10,000 and this year McNeil says they hope to do the same.

The run begins at 8:30 a.m. May 31st at Shelterhouse #1 at Lake Shawnee.

Registration Fees:
5K Adult: $25 through May 16th, $30 though race day
5K Student (18 & Under): $20 through May 16th, $25 though race day
Kids Dash (ages 10 & under): $5 (includes t-shirt)
FREE (no t-shirt)
* A nominal convenience charge will be added to online registrations.
**Late registrations are not guaranteed an event t-shirt (but we will do our best to accommodate your size with what we have left).

Registered participants are allowed to use strollers during the event but must line up behind the runners and yield to other racers.

Packet Pick up will be on Friday, May 30st from 12:00-6:00pm at Worth a 1000 Words Studio located in West Ridge Mall on the first floor (1801 SW Wanamaker Road #D4).

Race Day Info:
7:30 a.m. Race Day Registration & Packet-Pick-up
8:30 a.m. 5K Run/Walk
9:45 a.m. Kids Dash

Refreshments will be provided after the Run/Walk at the shelter house.

For more information about the Jo Bryant Foundation and the 5K visit their website,

photos courtesy of

Jo Bryant
Jo Bryant was a teacher for USD 501 for over 43 years. She lost her life to cholangiocarcinoma.