As runners traverse the streets of Memphis for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on December 7, Adam Cruthirds ’20 will be completing his first full marathon for the hospital that saved his life and celebrating a longtime fundraising goal. His story was recently featured on NBC's Today show.
While undergoing chemotherapy treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after being diagnosed with leukemia at age 16, Cruthirds founded Adam’s Army to raise money and awareness for St. Jude’s work. He says his goal has always been to raise one million dollars, which he reached just ahead of the Memphis marathon.
“This work is important to me because St. Jude is an amazing place that saved my life and continues to save the lives of thousands. Giving back helped me cope with my diagnosis and it is crazy how it exploded into a $1 million-dollar fundraising adventure,” says Cruthirds.
Over the years, Cruthirds has finished three half marathons and a 5k, often while on chemotherapy. Now off chemo and in remission, Cruthirds next hopes to hit the full marathon’s finish line. He will run with 26 names of friends he has met in treatment on his arms, one for each mile of the race.
Cruthirds has been able to work towards completing his degree in political science in four years all while championing Adam’s Army and says the support of the Rhodes community has made his work possible.
“Adam’s Army and I wouldn’t have been able to raise a million dollars without staying in Memphis the past four years and without the help from the Rhodes community. I will forever be grateful for friends, family, Rhodes, and Memphis,” Cruthirds says.