As superintendent of the DeSoto Parish School System in northwest Louisiana, Dr. Cade Brumley stands firmly behind the system’s mission statement, which begins: DeSoto serves.
He also put that service into action during the school year by raising funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® as a St. Jude Hero in the New York City Marathon in November of 2015.
“Childhood cancer is something that has impacted all of the various towns and communities in our parish,” Brumley said. “It is something that is very real to our student body because, in most of our schools, there has been a child who has battled cancer.”
He chose the New York City Marathon because he felt running a local marathon as a St. Jude Hero wouldn’t have the same significance as it would in the world famous race. Brumley raised more than $12,000 for St. Jude, far surpassing his goal of $5,200, which represented one dollar for every student in the parish. Brumley paid for his own travel and lodging for the trip, meaning every dollar raised went to St. Jude.
Leading up to race day, Brumley visited all 10 schools in the parish and spoke to students about how St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He also told them how treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.
“I hope that it set the foundation for those students to understand the important work of St. Jude,” Brumley said.
He also talked to students about making healthy lifestyle choices. Brumley, 35, began running consistently 15 years ago and has lost roughly 60 pounds during that time. When training for the New York City Marathon, he would run at 3 a.m. in an attempt to beat the late-summer Louisiana heat.
On race day in New York, Brumley dedicated certain miles of his marathon run to current or former students of the DeSoto Parish School System who battled childhood cancer, writing their initials and their dedicated mile on his arm with a marker.
Brumley plans to run another marathon this fall, and he wants to engage the school community again by highlighting charitable giving and healthy living.
“My goal, like so many others, is that St. Jude doesn’t need to exist in the future because we end cancer,” Brumley said. “That’s the hope.”Register Now Upgrade to run for st. jude