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Olson battling a second brain tumor

Johanna Olson is trying to save her brain -- and her life.

The 1997 graduate of Wadena-Deer Creek High School has undergone two operations for brain tumors and she needs financial help in dealing with medical costs.

A benefit concert for Olson will be held from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at Immanuel Luthern Church in Wadena. The concert will feature Christie Meier, Steve Dahl, Wendy Lindlief, Mike Ortman and other local talent.

Olson placed in the top three in the Class A state cross country meet four times and led the Wolverines to the Class A title in her senior year. Her father, WDC cross country coach Terry Olson, describes his daughter as a "focused" person.

"She's got that internal thing that not a lot of people have," Olson said.

Since graduating from WDC, Olson has earned her masters in exercise physiology. The 30-year-old's goal is to coach at the collegiate level or in a large high school. While she waits for her break, she is living and in Minneapolis and working for Starbucks Coffee. She is a volunteer track and field coach at Hamline University in St. Paul and intends to train for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials once her chemotherapy treatments are done.

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