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Songwriter Joshua Ragsdale Loses Battle With Cancer

Joshua RagsdaleNashville’s songwriting community is mourning the tragic loss of one of their own. Accomplished writer Joshua Ragsdale lost his long battle with cancer on July 1. He was just 32 years old.

Once an artist on the now-closed Lyric Street record label, Joshua continued to establish himself as a prolific songwriter, even as he fought a form of leukemia. In need of a bone marrow transplant, Joshua came close to finding a donor, traveling to Maryland when a match was found, only to have the donor rescind his offer one day later. The setback was devastating.

“He’s the only one close to match,” Joshua revealed in April (quote via Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper). “My doctors have let him know that without him there’s a good chance I won’t survive. So we’ve gone from a great chance of survival and living, to a guy not wanting to do it. We don’t have any answers. I can mope and moan and cry, and it doesn’t do any good. But tons of people have signed up as registered marrow donors on my behalf, I know of five people who have been called and told they were matches for someone on the registry. If I have to go through this to save one person, it’s worth it for me.”

Accustomed to riding highs and lows since his diagnosis, Joshua was elated when he learned at the end of May that the cancer, which had spread to his brain, was in remission. “Doc just called to say that the brain cancer is in remission!!!” he said on his Twitter page. “0% blast cells!!! Everyone on my medical team is shocked … Glory to God!!!” Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived, and Joshua returned to a Nashville-area hospital a few weeks later, before ultimately succumbing to the disease.

Two of Joshua’s latest cuts include Randy Montana‘s new single, ‘Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You,’ as well as a co-write with Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, who released their song ‘Papaw’s Sunday Boots’ earlier this year.

Joshua was a staff writer for Sony/ATV Music. To find out how to become a bone marrow donor, click here.

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