Dolly and Bud Stringer, both cancer survivors, will “pass a torch,” that was lit for them by friends during their battle with cancer. “Run for a Reason,” a 5K and one-mile fun run, organized by the couple’s friends to help them, will be held this year, on Saturday, Feb. 8, to honor Jacob Martin, a four-year-old who is battling a malignant brain tumor.
“When adversity strikes, it is the love and support of your God, family, friends and your community that gets you through it. Our family was so blessed, and we wanted to give back. Jacob and his family were the perfect fit. They are so strong in their faith and their desire to beat this illness. We are honored to be able provide some assistance to them on their journey,” said Dolly.
According to Christie Cooper, Jacob’s great-aunt, Dolly Stringer wanted to continue the “Run for a Reason” campaign and honor a local resident who is battling cancer each year.
“She was drawn to Jacob and chose him as the honoree in the Second Annual Run for a Reason,” Cooper said.
In July of last year, Jacob, who is the son of Grant and Lindsay Martin of Moultrie, was diagnosed with a Gliomatosis Cerebri tumor, which is a rare, aggressive, high-grade tumor that does not respond to chemotherapy. Instead, he has been taking radiation treatment over the past year and, Cooper said, he has responded well to it.
“As of his last MRI, which was made in November, the tumor has shrunk by 35%,” she also said.
On July 4, of last year, Jacob had a seizure after waking from a nap and, after a trip to Colquitt Regional Medical Center and later Archbold Memorial, the Martins found themselves on the way to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta in Egleston. After an MRI was performed, the doctors told the family that the mass that has been discovered in Jacob’s brain had been there for approximately two to three years and was inoperable. Since, according to the doctors, the tumor seemed to be “asleep,” Jacob was released from the hospital.
In August, the family took a last minute trip to Disney World so that Jacob and his sister, Addison, could enjoy it while he was still feeling good. Jacob started getting sick including losing his hearing completely. On discussion with their doctors at Children’s Hospital, they took him back to Atlanta. At that time, it was decided that Jacob would start the radiation treatment. After his tenth treatment, his hearing started to return and he regained his energY.
“The Martins would like to thank the community for all of their prayers and support throughout this process. God has done some mighty powerful work in Jacob over these past few weeks and with continued prayer and trust in Him, we know we will continue to see improvement,” the family stated in an article which was run in The Observer’s “Faces of Courage” publication in September of last year.
The Stringers were both diagnosed with cancer in 2012 — Dolly with breast cancer in April and Bud with melanoma in August. Bud decided to surprise his family by shaving his head in support of Dolly whose head he had shaved before she went through chemotherapy. The melanoma was found at that time and doctors told Dolly that if it had not been found, Bud would not have survived to see Christmas.
“You never think it’s going to be you. You think these kind of things happen to other people. As far as both of us getting it a Las Vegas bookie wouldn’t give you odds on that,” Bud said in an earlier interview.
Friends, church members and others in the community stepped up to assist the Stringers by delivering meals to them, mowing their lawn and offering transportation to and from the hospital in Tampa where Bud went for treatment. The Run For a Reason was organized and held in October of that year and, now, it will be held again to help the Martin family.
This year’s “Run for a Reason” events, on Feb. 8, will start and end at Heritage Church with the 5K Race starting at 8 a.m., and the One-mile Fun Run starting at 8:30 a.m.
Male and female overall winners for both races will receive awards. In the 5K Race, awards will be given for first, second and third place for male and female in each age group. In the One-mile Fun Run, awards will be given for first, second and third place in each age group. The age groups include 8 & under, 9-10, 11-13, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 & over.
All participants who pre-register by Jan. 28, will receive a “Run for a Reason” t-shirt on the day of the race. Register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/Moultrie/RunForAReason.
“Registration will remain open until the day of the event and participants can even sign up the day of the event at Heritage Church. But to be guaranteed a shirt, we urge people to sign up before Jan. 28,” said Cooper.
For more information about this benefit run, please contact Dolly Stringer at 229-413-2696 or Susan Corley at 229-873-5590.