The Second Annual  Mental Illness Awareness 5k run/1 mile walk and Halloween Fair in memory of Katie Shoener will be held on Saturday October 28, 2017 at Nay Aug Park in Scranton

The First 5Kate was held in Scranton on October 30, 2016



IMG_6271Katie’s story made news across the US and around the world and went viral on social media. Her obituary spoke to the feelings and needs of people with mental illness and the families and friends that care about people with mental illness. Read about it in the “Katie’s Story” section

Kathleen “Katie” Marie Shoener, 29, fought bipolar disorder since 2005, but she finally lost the battle on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 to suicide in Lewis Center, Ohio.  Katie was born in Scranton and is the daughter of Deacon Edward R. and Ruth Shoener of Scranton. She was a graduate of Scranton High School, received her Bachelor of Science in business from Penn State University and recently her MBA from Ohio State University.

So often people who have a mental illness are known as their illness. People say that “she is bipolar” or “he is schizophrenic.” Over the coming days as you talk about this, please do not use that phrase. People who have cancer are not cancer, those with diabetes are not diabetes. Katie was not bipolar – she had an illness called bipolar disorder – Katie herself was a beautiful child of God. The way we talk about people and their illnesses affects the people themselves and how we treat the illness. In the case of mental illness there is so much fear, ignorance and hurtful attitudes that the people who suffer from mental illness needlessly suffer further. Our society does not provide the resources that are needed to adequately understand and treat mental illness. In Katie’s case, she had the best medical care available, she always took the cocktail of medicines that she was prescribed and she did her best to be healthy and manage this illness – and yet – that was not enough. Someday a cure will be found, but until then, we need to support and be compassionate to those with mental illness, every bit as much as we support those who suffer from cancer, heart disease or any other illness. Please know that Katie was a sweet, wonderful person that loved life, the people around her – and Jesus Christ.

In the spirit of Katie’s favorite holiday and birthday, Halloween, we dressed in costume, but didn’t mask mental illness.  Continue to speak up about mental illness and the need for openness and understanding.  We live in a wonderful community that showed their compassion and support for better mental health care at the 5 Kate.


Proceeds benefit NAMI and research efforts towards cures for mental illness :


NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.