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Run organizer may have own cancer fight
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An effort to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital with an inaugural McMinnville Fall Crawl 5K run now includes an ironic twist for event organizer Joshua Crain.
“I had an unanticipated surgery last Wednesday,” said Crain. “Now I’m waiting on lab results to tell me whether or not I have cancer.”
McMinnville Fall Crawl will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. in downtown McMinnville. The event is being organized by Crain, his wife Ashly, and Main Street McMinnville.
The cruel twist of organizing a race to benefit cancer research for children and facing a possible adult diagnosis is not lost on Crain.
“The irony of me facing the possibility of cancer while trying to put together a race to raise money for children’s cancer research and treatment is amazing,” he said. “If I can use this to make lemonade, somebody bring the sugar and let’s get started.”
The Crains became involved in St. Jude, a research hospital that works to cure diseases like cancer in children, after the birth of their first child.
“We are passionate in our desire to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the need for continued cancer research like that done by St. Jude,” Crain said. “We decided to combine our passion with our love of running and organize a 5K run to benefit St. Jude.” 
The Crains are avid runners with Joshua running 15-30 miles a week. When the “C” word was uttered, he was in the midst of training for an obstacle run Sept. 17 called the Warrior Dash and a race called the Middle Half in October.
Now recuperating from surgery and waiting on test results, Crain is not letting it get him down.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I’m certainly not happy about it, but my faith is in God and the support of my family, friends and colleagues has been overwhelming.”
Before surgery, Crain considered his daily routine fairly predictable — up at 4:40 a.m. to run with friend Terry Connor and then getting his son to school and off to work.
Since surgery, he has taken a long look at his life.
“This experience may well be one of the best of my life since I have really stepped back and evaluated who I am and who I need to be,” Crain said. “There are things that matter, and there are things that don’t matter. It’s given me perspective.”
What does matter to Crain is making McMinnville Fall Crawl a success and helping St. Jude continue its research to help prevent cancer in children and agony for parents.
“What I’m experiencing must be many times more agonizing for a mother or father with a child afflicted with cancer,” said Crain. “Children are the most innocent people I know, and if my wife and I can do something to help, we’re all in.”
When asked where he goes from here, Crain simply shrugs and says “If the biopsy comes back clean, the journey is over. I will gladly take it. If it turns out I have cancer, then I will simply do what needs to be done.”
Those wanting to assist with McMinnville Fall Crawl as a volunteer or sponsor can contact Crain at Registration forms for runners can be picked up at Main Street McMinnville. For more information, call 506-5335.