Andy Dunn was recently selected by the McMinnville Fall Crawl 5K to be its second Hometown Hero. The 8-year-old was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 4.
“Andy is a great example of how faith, perseverance, and treatment from top-notch providers can make the impossible, possible,” said Joshua Crain, who is organizing the race with his wife, Ashly, and Main Street McMinnville. “Because of that, he is a Hometown Hero.
The 5K will start in downtown McMinnville on Oct. 29 beginning at 3 p.m., with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research. Three Hometown Heroes will be selected and allowed to start the race.
Andy is the son of Daryl and Dot Dunn and has an older brother, Ray Dunn. On Dec. 6, 2007, he was taken to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with a hip problem. Nothing was found.
In January of the following year, several days and nights of testing at Vanderbilt determined Andy had cancer. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, stage four, a high-risk cancer. Along with four tumors in his chest, lesions were found on all of his bones from the waist down and his bone marrow was 100 percent cancerous.
While doctors gave Andy’s parents the news he might not survive more than two weeks, aggressive treatment began. He was in the hospital 209 nights and at the Ronald McDonald House for 114 nights.
Andy celebrated his 8th birthday June 9, 2011.
Crain says he and his wife learned of Andy’s struggle after moving to McMinnville. Then, their lives crossed and the magnitude of the situation hit home.
“Andy and his family attend the same congregation as we do and it really hit home that this little boy, just two years older than our son, was going through such a tremendous battle,” Crain said. “Daryl, Dot and Ray know first hand what it means to be thankful for every single day you have together.”
Participants in the McMinnville Fall Crawl 5K are encouraged to fit in with the spirit of Halloween as participants are asked to dress in their favorite Halloween costume.
Andy joins 18-month-old Kelsi Lyn Caten, the first Hometown Hero. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma earlier this year and is currently undergoing treatment. The third Hometown Hero is yet to be announced.
Admission for the 5K race is $25. A kids fun dash is $15. Registration can be made at www.active.com or forms picked up at McMinnville Civic Center. For more information, call Main Street McMinnville at 506-5335.