TATUM/RUSK COUNTY (KYTX) - Almost four years -- the Tatum community rallied around a local family -- whose son was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Now his brother -- also a marine -- faces a deadly illness. Once again -- the community is stepping up -- literally.
Jose Granado has stage IV colorectal cancer. We wanted to talk with him today about his desire to run in Saturday's Honor March here in Tatum. He says he will only talk with us Saturday -- at the finish line.
Wendy Williams knew the Granados from the time she entered kindergarten. And when the Granados grieved the loss of son Alex Granado in August 2009 -- Wendy grieved, too.
"His family has endured such tragic struggles, with his brother being in the military and killed in action, and now Jose in a battle for his life," Williams said.
Jose Granado has served overseas and in Tatum. He was a U.S. marine until 2010, when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He started up a firearms assurance business to teach people how to use guns safely. But in June, doctors gave him two weeks to live.
That was three weeks ago.
"He pushes himself up every day," Williams said. "He's a true warrior inside and out."
People in Tatum wanted to do something for the family. So Williams and others organized fundraisers for the family this weekend.
It starts with a Hometown Hero Master Class of zumba at N.D. Williams Timber Co., at 1175 Kuykendall Street in Tatum, at 7 Friday night. And at 8 Saturday morning, Jose and dozens of runners will race in 5-K and one-mile runs.
Proceeds from both events, plus a portion of sales throughout Saturday at Tatum's Sonic Drive-in -- will be given to the Granado family.
Jose's mother, Rosalinda, says she's thankful that people are coming from as far away as the Pacific Northwest to run for her son Saturday.
"Everybody, thank you, for what you're doing for him," Rosalinda Granado said.
Patricia Cullen signed up the run the 5-K with Jose, who was her firearms instructor.
"If this is just one little thing to do for him, then I'm excited to do it," Cullen said.
To register for the fundraisers, call 903-452-1315 or 903-947-6115. Williams said anyone who shows up at the starting line for Saturday morning's race before the 8 a.m. start will be allowed to register. Cost is $10 to run in the one-mile run, or $25 to run in the 5-K. Cost for Friday's Zumba class is $10 per person, or $15 for two people.
Participants in the 5K will also get a commemorative T-shirt.