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BMXers race to raise funds for Jason Turnage
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Jason Turnage and his son Eli watch the action on the track Sunday during the American Bicycle Association Point Race “Racin’ 4 Jason” fundraiser. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The “Racin’ 4 Jason” fundraiser last Sunday was deemed a success by organizers.

Over 600 took part in the BMX ABA Point event at the Spreckels Park facility in Manteca.

According to Cathy Anderson, wife of John Anderson of the Anderson BMX Racing Team, “Racin’ 4 Jason” raised $6,034 – included was $400 from the auction of the donated Olympic jersey once owned and signed by Maris Strombergs – and counting.

“We still have donations coming in from other BMX teams from around the country,” she said on Wednesday.

The hope here is to raise money for Jason Turnage, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in June 2008.

Within a year, the cancer metastasized to his liver, with the tumors putting him at a Stage 4. Turnage received a liver resection at the UCSF Medical Center.

The chemotherapy has been successful.

“The cancer returned on the liver,” Turnage said. “I’ll need surgery (at UCSF) planned for December.”

He’s also seeking alternative treatment for the cancer that’s not covered on his insurance. Turnage indicated that his out-of-pocket expense is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000 or “depending on what I can afford,” he said.

Turnage, 37, was proud to share this special day with his sons, Eli, 9, and Ethan, 13.

He grew up racing BMX and met John Anderson about 10 years ago. The two went from competitors to teammates.

“We can only hope that Jason can beat his cancer,” Cathy Anderson said. “No one should have to go through this or any type of illness.”

Turnage, in turn, has been grateful for the effort.

“I just can’t say enough for what John and Cathy had done (to help me),” he added.

Donations are still being accepted to help Turnage, and can be sent to P.O. Box 4343, Manteca, CA 95337.