Why I’m Running

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Gone Too Soon

My son, Tim fell in love with Tara a month after she had a double mastectomy; she was 32 years old. In spite of the fact that the cancer metastasized, they got engaged April 2015. Tara had many ups and down; mostly downs. She was a fighter. I’m not sure I’ll ever meet someone as strong as her. Tara and Tim married on February 13th, 2016. It was a simple, yet beautiful wedding in Las Vegas. They were surrounded by immediate family and close friends. Due to her weakened condition, they were not able to go on a honeymoon but came on home the next day. She was hospitalized mid-April. At the end of the month she was sent home with hospice care. Tara passed away on May 19th at the age of 33 at home with the love of her life, Tim. Before she passed, she whispered to Tim to “keep going”. I’m running in honor of the strongest person I’ve known. I too, will KEEP GOING in her name!

Rachel, my daughter. My inspiration!

I am a 3 time survivor spanning 26 years. I was first diagnosed when I was 34 and have “lived” with breast cancer. This will be my 9th time running the half marathon and love this event. My husband Mike who was my amazing caregiver over the years passed away last July. He always supported me in this race following me in the race, taking pictures, you name it and always at the finish line. Three weeks after he died, my 28 year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She was very close to her dad and misses him terribly. As she and I face her cancer together we will support one another. Rachel has done the race several times this year but due to treatments she won’t be there this so I am running the race to honor my amazing, brace, incredible daughter!

#99 for Karen

Last year I ran across the state of Rhode Island for Breast Cancer and raised over $1.400. I did it in Honor of my friend Karen who has gone through Breast Cancer, had the surgery and is back to running with the members of our running club. This will be my 99th marathon, and I am doing it in her Honor. Boston Marathon will be my 100th marathon six weeks after the Donna.

We Won’t Back Down

Why Patrick Sheehan and Turner Pest Control will #BeTheFINISH

The DONNA Foundation has a bold vision to finish breast cancer. To achieve this vision, it will take support from everyone. Runners, volunteers, donors and sponsors.  Individuals and companies – large and small.  We are excited to welcome Turner Pest Control as a sponsor of our upcoming THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K, and share their story and that of their employee and long time DONNA volunteer Patrick Sheehan.  Together, we won’t back down.  We will Finish Breast Cancer.

We are very pleased to announce Turner Pest Control’s sponsorship of THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K fundraising event to finish breast cancer. This cause is important to us and we’re excited to have the opportunity to support the effort to raise funds for breast cancer research and for assisting breast cancer patients with their financial needs.

Not only will Turner Pest Control be proudly represented in THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K race by two of our long-time employees, but one of our technicians, Patrick Sheehan, has been personally involved in the annual DONNA Marathon Weekend for many years.

While Patrick is not a runner, he has taken part in the race to finish breast cancer for nearly a decade. He’s supported the DONNA organization’s marathon in a number of volunteer roles, including hotel greeter lead, bus transportation, and a quad lead for a section of the race, as well as helping race staff with setting up start and finish lines, warehouse duties and phone banks on First Coast News.

He notes that funds raised by the many supporters and sponsors of the marathon have led to a possible vaccine for T3 breast cancer, which marathon and organization founder Donna Deegan had, and more trials are under way for the vaccine. Patrick also adds that he has very personal reasons for continuing to support the cause: “My mother recently battled breast cancer and my grandmother had the disease in the 1980s. This is why the race has been a passion of mine for the last nine years. As Donna has said, ‘Jacksonville will be the place that will stop this disease.’ Just as Turner’s motto this year is “We won’t back down.” We won’t back down until we defeat breast cancer either.”

All of us at Turner Pest Control are proud of our team’s support of the critical work being done by The DONNA Foundation and Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program and pleased that we’ve made that support “official” with our sponsorship of the 5K. The race will be held on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course on Saturday, May 7. We hope to see you there!

V-Day Made My Heart Skip a Beat

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Rebecca Dotson
Founder, Chief Hat Maker (818 Ministries)

For my loved ones

I will be running the half, in honor of my Loving Mom, Sister and Cousin who have lost their battle to breast cancer…but never forgotten. I’m also running for my daughter, sisters, myself and everyone else to FINISH IT!

I’m alive

June 1st, 2010 I was the day I found out I had breast cancer. My surgeon was speaking words like mastectomy, oncologists, & estrogen sensitivity tests while I tried to remember to breathe. On that day I had no idea that the National marathon to Finish Breast Cancer was right up the road in Ponte Vedra/Jax beach. My twin sister and best friend Jeanie Leapley, long time resident of Ponte Vedra knew about it though and she ran in honor of me in February of 2011. We decided to make it a tradition that year so in 2012, I ran the half while she grinded out the whole 26.2 again! 2013 & ’14 we both did the half but after attending the Donna ambassador dinner Saturday eve of race week end this year, we were so blown away by the work the Mayo clinic research team is doing, we told Donna we would run the full in 2015! I’m a little intimidated but really it’s not about that… I am honored to participate & run to FINISH IT! Team “Soul Sisters” is pledging to raise $10k & I am thrilled to be alive and a part of this magical event!

I’m a Survivor

I had cervical cancer at the age of 23 and breast cancer at 30. If I wasn’t made for this I’ll be DEAD by now. Prayer and living my life like I always have made me to be able to get threw my hard times.

A Runner and A Survivor

Through injuries and setbacks, sheer perseverance and strength, runner and breast cancer survivor Kirsten Teany realized her dream to qualify for the Boston Marathon by finishing the 7th Annual 26.2 with DONNA with a personal best of 3:35:04.

This is her story.

At age 40, Kirsten began training with her neighbors for the Disney marathon. The group planned to train by walking together; however, Kirsten found that she did not have enough time to walk long distances and care for her young children.

“My time was limited, so I started running,” said Kirsten. Little did she know then that running would soon bring new meaning to her life.

In 2009, Kirsten finished the Disney marathon using a combination of running and walking. Then in 2010, she tackled the “Goofy,” in which runners participate in both the half and full marathon. Kirsten will never forget that race — not only did she complete almost 40 miles in two days, but she was to receive serious news from her doctor that same day.

She recalls, “Based solely upon the results of my mammogram, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was in the very early stages.”

After surgery and radiation, Kirsten was cancer free. She was more motivated than ever.

In 2012, Kirsten learned of 26.2 with DONNA from a friend. It made sense for her to run in the only marathon dedicated to breast cancer research and care given her recent victory over the disease. After running 4:16 at her first DONNA, Kirsten planned to qualify for the Boston Marathon. To achieve this, she needed to improve her time by 31 minutes!

In 2013, after 18 months of vigorous training, Kirsten registered for a December marathon in Pensacola; however, two weeks from the race, she suffered a knee injury. Unable to compete, Kirsten postponed her quest until the following year.

On February 23, 2014, Kirsten beat her personal record, qualified for the Boston Marathon, and won the “Survivor” division at the 7th Annual 26.2 with DONNA in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

“I think I was meant to qualify at the DONNA,” said Kirsten. “This is an absolutely fabulous marathon and I enjoyed all 26.2 miles.  I loved running on the beach and the support of the community is so inspiring.”

Kirsten Teany’s story is one of hope, determination, and love — for her family and running. “My story is that running is such a healthy outlet to relieve stress and stay fit. Working out every morning allows me to start my day with a positive attitude. Running gives me time to think and reflect on the gifts I have in my life,” she says.

Kirsten plans to run the DONNA in 2015.  Run with her!  Register today >>

-By Richard Lawrence

For my co-workers who are always there to help others

I work for Stewart Marchman Act Behavioral Health Care in Daytona Beach Florida. This agency specializes in treating people with addictions to drugs/alcohol and severe mental illness. I have been employed here for eight years. During this time, I have watched several of my co-workers battle breast cancer, as well as other types of cancer. They are extremely tough. The thing that affects me the most about my co-workers/ friends is that I have watched them time and time again use their strength and kindness to help others in need. Regardless, what they may be coping with on a personal level.I want to run Donna 26.2 as way to honor the people who are my heros. I want to show others,how awesome these people are!!

Because someone ran for me

As a breast cancer survivor, I am alive today because someone else “ran” for me. Not it is my turn.


Getting my New York on last week.
Fashions by 26.2 with Donna

You have to come to Florida and run the beaches!! Feb is no time to be in the northeast. Hope to see you again soon.


Getting my New York on last week.
Fashions by 26.2 with Donna

You have to come to Florida and run the beaches!! Feb is no time to be in the northeast. Hope to see you again soon.

Running For Mimi

After a great deliberation and knowing fully that I am challenging myself physically, I just signed up to run the half marathon today.

I’m running for Mimi, my sister Connie who is heavy into her battle with breast cancer and now fighting cancer on a new front, her brain.

I know that it will be a challenge for me and my now old, achy cheerleader knees but I also know that the pain I will deal with will not compare to my sister’s battle.

As a woman, breast cancer has always been within my awareness and concern and meant “something” but now that it has affected my family, my dear sister, beating breast cancer means EVERYTHING!!

So, time to get training. Time to get running. Let’s do this. Let’s beat cancer and give my sister Connie (AKA as Mimi to her grandchildren) and all the others with breast cancer a fighting chance.

Administrative Assistant – Mayo Clinic Rochester

I have seen this pop up on the Homepage for the last few years but did not truly understand how big of a deal this is. I was recently diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and a co-worker pointed this out to me. Although I cannot run the marathon, I plan donate to this cause. Please consider doing so. And a huge thank you to this organization for all you do.

Running for an Inspirational Woman

I am running to show love and support for such an inspirational woman. C.M. is a breast cancer survivor and a member of my training program. Despite the side effects of her chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she mustered the courage and strength to run each day. Often times, she would run log distances with us the day after a treatment. The running community was there for C.M. on two milestone occasions, her last chemo and radiation treatments. True to her “never quit” attitude, immediately following the final treatments, we ran 5 miles home, celebrating the closing and opening of a new chapter in her life. C.M. inspires me and is my source of motivation when I am having a mental breakdown running. Having completed her last treatment in December 2015, she plans to run her second 26.2 with Donna.

I am also running for those who can’t run and to help finish breast cancer.

Let’s all be VERBS, not NOUNS

Because I want to be more than a NOUN (RUNNER) to those in need – – I want to be a VERB(RUNNING)!


September 13,2014 I lost my mother of 87 years. She was the strongest person I have ever known. “A force to be reckoned with!” She was a breast and pancreatic cancer survivor and a Soviet concentration camp survivor as well. I am running this race for her.I myself am a two time breast cancer survivor. I am thankful for having such a role model to draw strength from. I miss her.

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