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Dozens run to bring awareness to mental illness in the Chippewa Valley

Chippewa Valley (WQOW) — Despite the cold, wet weather on Saturday morning, dozens laced up their running shoes to raise awareness for mental illness in the Chippewa Valley.

Runners participated in the 3rd annual Journey on Janna 5K at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls, hosted by the Journey on Janna Foundation. The foundation was started in honor of Janna Cobb from Chippewa Falls who lost her battle with mental illness at the age of 16.

The event raises money to provide resources for people struggling with depression and anxiety, as well as bringing awareness to suicide in the Chippewa Valley.

But Debbra Judnic, Janna’s mother and founder of Journey on Janna, said it’s much more than that.

“Our goal from day one is I never want another family to ever go through what we’ve gone through,” said Judnic. “There are no words to describe it, to lose a child, to lose a friend in this manner.”

Judnic said the 5K is their biggest fundraiser of the year, and that this year, organizers had four times as many runners register for the event than last year.

Carly Swisher

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