Why I’m Running

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Happy New Year!

One year ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer (12/2014). It became my goal to leave 2015 better than it found me. I can say that I am doing that, as I feel better than ever and ready to accept this challenge. And I look forward to meeting others who have been where I was, and gain strength and knowledge from their experiences.


I am running for the most courageous lady I will ever meet because for almost four years she fought the breast cancer battle. I love you Angie Bowden Murray and am honored to have been there with you throughout the course. Your three babies and I miss you but on February 23 I will look that disease face to face and will finally say goodbye to it but will help the fight for all the others still. I love you eternally,Mark Earl Murray

Baby Sister of Tammy Hill- GO TEAM TAM TAM!

I have done this race with my sister Tammy Hill since she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2010. Our first Run With Donna she was a survivor and was like a kid in candy land while doing the race. We have been back yearly to this race. This year, I will be walking with her special needs daughter in honor of her. She crossed over on June 8, 2013 as the cancer had returned with a vengeance. This will be a sad but happy time for us knowing she is in a better place. I wish there was an email to contact race event people as my niece will not be able to do the whole race on foot. I will need a wheel chair for when she gets tired. I have ran many times pushing my sister in a wheel chair at this race. I am sure I have been seen by many doing so. There are key parts of the race I will need to get my niece to, so we can do a special prayer at each for my sister, her mother, as these key points were her highlights of the race. This race I and my niece promised Tammy on her dying bed that we will do this race together for her. We are paid up and geared up. Just need a wheel chair when we get there. We love and miss you bunches Tammy!!!
My email for anyone who can spare a wheel chair just for the race. It would be highly appreciated!!!!!!!!


I am thankful for my mom. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and in a month it seems like our lives have changed. She has undergone 2 surgeries and keeps her faith and her strength strong. She is receiving the best care ever at Mayo Clinic and I could not ask for more. I am thankful my mom has been able to get her mammograms every year because that is what saved her life.

My Story

For the last four and a half years I have disliked the label of “Survivor”. I never liked being singled out or any attention brought to me. It implies I’m different than everyone else. About a month ago it hit me, I am different than others! I have gone through a life event that I hope has made me a better person….breast cancer. My story is no different than many others that I have joined on this journey. But differs in the fact that breast cancer has lead me to running. I remember the moment well. I was sitting in the chemo chair, fourth round, just flipping through a magazine, when I saw an add for 26.2 With Donna to Finish Breast Cancer. I vowed right then that as soon as my treatment was finished, I was running that marathon. Of course at that time I had no idea what that entailed. The following spring I signed up with the Jacksonville Galloway group to train for the half marathon, my life changed forever! I have been blessed to be a part of the best running group. I found so much support and love. During our running we all shared our lives, our challenges and our victories. And yes was able to learn a method of running that allowed me to run a marathon! My first half marathon was Donna 2011. My husband son and daughter ran also. I will never forget crossing the finish line holding my daughters hand. I Ran the full marathon in 2012, last year I ran the half again. I have recently moved to Indianapolis, but I will always, every year, run 26.2 With Donna to Finish Breast Caancer. You see, I am Thankful for my journey, for I am a Survivor.

Running for Robyn

I am running because almost five months ago my best friend, Robyn Thomas, lost her battle to breast cancer. Last year she posted her story “why i am running” and little did we know that months later she would be gone. We had been friends since we were 14 years old…she was the epitome of strength, faithfulness, and grace. She was diagnosed in February 2012 and had a mastectomy in March…all was well…then around March 2013 she began complaining of stomach issues and back pain (all the while getting good bloodwork results)…we attributed it to many different factors until May when it became unbearable and she went to the hospital and was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer in her liver (May 24, 2013). She was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and they diligently worked to help her beat this aggressive cancer…her family and friends rallied around her and we were there every day. She never gave up hope, she wanted to “fight” even when in chronic pain…sadly, on June 24, 2013 she lost the fight. She was the bravest person I know and I love her! Last year about 10 of us ran the Half for the first time (Robyn included) and this year I have started a group and there will be about 30 of us (from all over the country) coming to “Run for Robyn”…and this is why I run!

Cancer can attack anyone :(

Hi my name is Nicole. I do not have breast cancer but I have worked with mayo at the 26.2 relay for years, as a oncology RN. I unfortunately have brain cancers ( glioblastoma stage 4). I have had brain cancer, radiation and double chemo treatments. I do not know how long I have but I working hard and god and family is watching me everyday. This year I am doings first relay 26.2 with friends and family. I’m so thankful for family friends and god, for all the support and prayers and I want to pay it forward the best I can.

Breast Cancer Beauty

Hope is the love that I had for a wonderful lady for nearly 20 years that fought the breast cancer battle for four years. I will always remember the day she found out that she was in stage 3 to 4 breast cancer.The concern was always about her three children always. It was a battle that she never gave up on until her last breath on this earth. There was hope that through the wonderful doctors of St.Vincent’s and Mayo that she could find the right chemotherapy. In the last days the care at Mayo Hospital Jacksonville was a blessing from God. Dr. Mareno Thank You. I ask all involved throughout Jacksonville in this process many cancer patients go through to continue on till maybe one day we find a solution and answer for all. The picture is of her three children at Whitehouse Elementary October 31 Breast Cancer Awareness Day. God Bless,Mark Murray the honored husband of Angie Murray of 14 years.

Will run in 2017

I was diagnosed with Breast cancer on 2/6/15. I was 33 years old. I have gone through a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation. I will be running in the 2017 marathon with some other amazing survivors.


I’m thankful for my life and my 3 beautiful girls! I almost die 4 years ago 11/13/09 when my youngest daughter was born. Same date 3 years later was my last stroke with my ex husband after the devastate news of not being my everything. I dedicated to live and stay healthy to raise my 3 daughters that I love with all my heart & soul. I have to go back to surgery due to a hernia but I’m still striving to be the best woman & mother I can be for my daughters and who ever God will bring in my life. With so much work now and ahead of me I will not give up to strive for the best for me & my girls so I can be a good example for them. I have to take care of me so I can take care of them. Time for me to run/work out benefit for my health, strength, mind and soul! Thank God for my life and my girls. That’s why I’m thankful!!!

Just Plain Thankful

I am walking the 5k for my wife, Ann. She has recovered from significant surgery that included beautiful reconstruction. She has not complained, but instead, has supported us as we dealt with the fear of losing her. She was my strength as I have dealt with my own health issues.

We have participated in walks in support of various causes, but this one is special. Last year, the Survivors Mile was a triumph, as it was the first walk for her. Many of her co-workers joined us as we joyfully came in last.


NEWTOWN – I am so thankful to say that Newtown is my home! The love and strength that my town has shown over the last 11 months shows that evil does not win! It has moved the world to show Random Acts of Kindness

Pat Hughes

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 10/2013. Prior to that, I was in the best shape of my life at 54… boot camps, running 3 miles 3x a week, rowing, and the gym. I’m a high school math teacher. I had a routine mammogram and was not at all concerned because breast cancer does not run in my family and I faithfully had a mammogram each year. The Dr. kept saying he saw a “shadow” but it was probably nothing. After 2 more mammograms, an ultra-sound, then an mri they spotted it. Thank you to my radiologist for being so persistent despite my dislike and fear of each and every test. A biopsy was preformed and it was cancerous. HER2 Positive, Estrogen Positive, and Progesterone positive (I sure aced that test). Life was turned upside down. Emotions were on a roller coaster. After surgery, Chemo for a year was recommended because of the aggressive HER2 and 6 weeks of daily radiation. I lost my hair. I got through this trying to “pretend” it wasn’t happening. I kept running that 3 miles (although I was anemic) having to walk some of it. I kept going to that gym (praying my hat wouldn’t fall off). I didn’t miss much work… I had bling hats to match every outfit and tried to make the best of having no hair. 3 months after having my last chemo treatment I ran the Donna 1/2 Marathon (well ran/walked it) and it was my first 1/2 marathon. The race supporters made me feel like a “rock star”. Jacksonville/ Donna organizers… you are so amazing for what you do/did! . I was so impressed that I formed a team the next day after the event (Team F Cancer for “fight cancer” of course) and looking forward to running it on 2/14/16. If you need a team to join, consider mine!

Very Thankful

I am very Thankful that I still have my mom around. She was diagnosed with a genetic lung disorder about 18 years ago. Over the course of 15 years, she received different treatments to prolong the life of her lungs. About 2 1/2 years ago, she was told by her physicians that she needed a double lung transplant. She was eventually placed on oxygen and was pretty much bound to her house. Just walking to the bathroom was a chore. She was placed on the list in December and in February of the next year, we received a call in the middle of the night that a set of lungs were available. At 1am, we all rushed to Mayo Clinic to start a new life for her. Unfortunately, the lungs were not compatible and therefore, it’s what the doctors call a “dry run”. So back to waiting we go. On Mother’s Day of that year (2011) at 4:00pm, she received a call from Mayo clinic telling us that another set of lungs were available. Trying not to get too excited because of last time, we gathered our things and headed back to Mayo. Shortly before midnight, a new set of lungs were placed and the journey began. It has been a roller coaster of a ride and there have been a few times that I thought we were going to lose her. Thank the Good Lord that she’s still here. She is going strong and I couldn’t be more thankful.

mom and me

My mother was diagnosed three years ago with breast cancer. I started doing 5k, obstacle courses and exercising for her. I went from size 12/14 to 2/4 and lost 43 pounds.. This year, 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I work with Cheryl Hesse and she told me your story. After my surgery and recuperation , I am still me! I have completed tough mudder, finn Mccool , inflatable 5k, mudderella in PA, and exercising at orangetheory. I have put your full marathon on my bucket list and registered for it!!


For the last 2.5 years I worked in a contract job that ended suddenly with only 4 days notice. At this same time I noticed a discoloration on my breast and realized for the first time ever I had missed my mammogram last year. I scheduled my appointment and got results of and all clear and I want you to know I would rather have my health than my job! I am now looking for a new gig but am thankful for my life and health since I lost my first cousin to Breast cancer in March this year. Keep up the work to end this disease!
Linda Cooper

Thankful for life

At this time of year we are especially reminded of all that we are thankful for. I am truly thankful for my faith in God, the love of my family, and life. While many may say of course one is thankful for life, I am thankful for all of it, the good, bad and the ugly, the happy times and the sad times. While some may consider this crazy, I believe it creates resiliency to ride the roller coaster of life. Yes, some may have the lucky side of life where things just seem to go their way, but I feel sorry for these folks as they don’t know how to climb back from those unlucky life events and create a stronger self. It is always easy to give thanks in the good times, but when life is not going the way we hoped or planned, it takes guts to reach inside and still stay positive and thankful. Just as we are glad to see the sunshine after a storm, those who have never faced life’s tough side cannot truly appreciate the glorious feeling of the great moments. I believe we build our character from the ashes of the life path we walk. I am thankful to be able to run, to have risen above those who said I would never run again. So to the Donna Foundation, I am thankful for the challenge you gave me many years ago to get off the couch and run a marathon!


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