A 5K fun run/walk with a holiday theme is planned to help a local man and his family following a cancer diagnosis.
Kevin Thurman was recently diagnosed with Olfactory Neuroblastoma – a rare form of sinus cancer. He is currently undergoing treatment at MD Anderson in Texas.
A group of friends are putting together an event to celebrate the fun of the holiday season while helping their friends to cover costs associated with transportation and housing, along with medical costs and living expenses during this time.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater & Hot Chocolate 5K Fun Run/Walk is set for Dec. 2 starting at Farmington High School at 1 Black Knight Dr. The cost is $25 per person.
Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. at Farmington High School, with the run starting at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best “ugly” Christmas sweater in the men, women and children category. The first 100 registrants on the day of the event will receive a T-shirt.
Participation awards will be presented to all the runners and walkers. Forms are available at the Farmington Civic Center, located at 2 Black Knight Dr.
“We certainly are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support,” his wife, Karri, said in a Facebook message on Friday. “We have cried a lot of tears over the past few weeks, but ironically many of them are happy tears. When we first found out the diagnoses and what the road was going to be like, it was pretty overwhelming.”
She expressed her thanks to friends and loved ones for all their help through this time. Kevin works at Mineral Area College and is involved in a number of organizations – including serving as an officer for a time on the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce, where information about the run was shared by Karen Melton – one of the organizers for the event.
“Honestly, we have a magnificent tribe of dear friends who immediately stepped up and wanted to help carry this burden and our family has done the same,” Karri wrote. “But Kevin knows everyone and he has been very involved in the community, but holy cow when this community rallies, it is really powerful.
“The prayers, cards, messages of support and the donations have been life changing. We are just regular folks facing a really scary time, but it is apparent we live in an EXTRAORDINARY community. We are blessed beyond words.”
Karri is chronicling their journey on her blog, titled heavysighsandsmiles.com. Her most recent update noted he is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday.
Other fundraisers for the family are underway, including T-shirt sales for “Team Thurman” shirts and a Blues ticket raffle, among others. T-shirts can be ordered at Ophelia in Farmington or by contacting Kelly Johns on the Walker Johns Childhood Cancer Foundation Facebook page.