December 31, 2014 Edition

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Householder runs for a reason

John Householder runs through the campus of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during the Dec. 6 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.
John Bland

John Householder of Walnut Ridge is just short of reaching his goal of raising $1,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He ran in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on Dec. 6.

Householder ran the 26.2-mile marathon on behalf of cancer survivor Ian Davidson as part of "Ian's Rockin' Runners" team. The team is honoring Anna Davidson's six-year-old son, Ian Davidson.

Several years ago, Anna lived with John and his wife, Deana, for about six months, and one of her first jobs was teaching English at Walnut Ridge High School.

Ian had a rare type of brain cancer that was diagnosed when he was only 16 months old. He went through four brain surgeries, extensive chemotherapy, proton beam radiation and many follow up appointments. "Ian is now a cancer survivor thanks St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," Deana exclaimed.

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon route went through the campus of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital twice. It went through the campus at its beginning and back through the campus at its ending.

"A few of the patients of St. Jude's were able to cheer for us along the route," John said. "This was very touching and brought clarity as to who the real heroes were."

Deana added that some of the children barely had enough energy to stick their hands out for a high five, but they were out there, cheering on the runners.

As of Monday, friends and associates of John and Deana had donated $970 to St. Jude, and it's not too late to donate to the effort. If you would like to donate to Ian's team and be a St. Jude Hero, search for "St. Jude Heroes" on the Internet. On that webpage, click on "Search for a hero" and type in "John Householder" to make a donation in his behalf. Donations will be credited to John and Ian's team though Dec. 31, but donations can still be made to St. Jude beyond 2014.

St. Jude's is John's third marathon in which he participated. He had previously run in a Little Rock Marathon and the Tulsa Route 66 marathon.

Deana noted that John has a goal to run a marathon in all 50 states, but the St. Jude Memphis Marathon is one he would definitely like to repeat.

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