The Southwestern Assemblies of God University athletics department will host this year’s David’s March 5K and the Purple and Gold Celebration, memorial fun runs which honor the life and impact of David Bush, at 10 and 11 p.m. Saturday at the Claxton Athletic Center.
“I met David while doing my HR rounds after being hired,” said Donnie Bostwick, the SAGU Lions “I went by IT to get my login and password and needed some information pulled off an old laptop. We hit it off immediately and developed a quick bond.”
Bush, a well-loved SAGU faculty member, was SAGU’s IT director from fall 2008 until his death from stage four Lymphatic cancer on March 15, 2014.
Bostwick said he and Bush became quick friends, which led him to begin attending Bush’s church where he was a pastor.
David’s wife Joy Bush said she is glad that the memorial runs exist because they do a lot for the aspiring students of SAGU and cancer research , which is exactly what the man she loved at first sight would have wanted.
“David was the greatest gift God could have given me. He was my beloved, soul-mate, friend and rock,” Joy said. “He always believed in me and cherished me and made my life beautiful in every way.”
That strong commitment to others and not himself had a lasting impact on Bostwick, who was familiar with the tribulations one has to go through when they are struck with such a devastating disease.
During David’s battle with Lymphoma, Bostwick stood by his side. David’s diagnosis came only a few short years after Bostwick witnessed his father walk through his own bout with cancer.
“It was like watching my brother go through a 12 -round fight with Satan himself,” Bostwick said. “David’s battle was similar to my father’s with even higher mountain tops and lower valleys. To see his faith, courage and love for his wife and others, no matter the pain or challenge he faced daily, was unexplainable.”
His urge to honor David and his legacy led him to the idea of David’s March, Bostwick said.
David’s story left such an impact with the SAGU coach that he is now writing a book about both his father’s and David’s journeys with cancer, with the main goal to unite 1 million people to fight against cancer to erase the disease permanently.
That impact wasn’t only felt by Bostwick, though.
From Joy to SAGU’s executive leadership, David’s caring heart positively affected thousands of staff members, students and alumni who take great pride in the memorial races, SAGU president Kermit Bridges said.
“David fought the good fight, finished his race, and kept the faith in a manner I have seldom witnessed in my life,” he continued. “This remarkable brother inspired believers to a deeper faith while unbelievers had the opportunity to witness and encounter the reality of God.”
“This was one way I felt we could carry his legacy on, creating a scholarship and annually recognizing his fight against this disease,” Bostwick added. “I think running in this event allows everyone the opportunity to honor both David and possibly a loved one in their life that cancer has attacked.”
Check-in for the David’s March and The Purple and Gold Run events, which interested parties can register online at https://sagu.wufoo.com/forms/z1que95h05ulnml/, begins at 9 a.m with all proceeds going toward the David B. Bush Memorial Scholarship.
Registration for the 5K is $35 per person and the shorter, 1-mile Purple and Gold Run is $10 per person.
Those interested in donating to the scholarship or learning more about lymphatic cancer can go to SAGU’s donation web page and facebook.com/FaithFightsCancer or faithfightscancer.org.