Why I’m Running

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I’m alive Untitled

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 kristen

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.

For women/men everywhere

I lost two aunts to breast cancer. My mom caught her Brest cancer early due to yearly mammograms. I walk for those that have lost the battle and for those fighting the battle. I walk to fight the never ending battle of breast cancer for everyone, that one day there will be a cure for breast cancer for me and more importantly my 12 year old daughter and her friends. We must not forget men are not exempt. Join me and fight breast cancer!

Irony

I ran Donna 2 years ago, because I live in Florida and one of my classmates was diagnosed with cancer. I decided to run it again this year, because I had to cancel a marathon in early February due to illness and not being able to get mileage in. Last Friday, I was doing a self exam, as I always do it on the 14th or 15th of the month. I found a lump. The doctor said it probably isn’t cancerous, but I have a mammogram scheduled the week after the marathon. If it turns out to be something suspicious on the mammogram I will get a biopsy. I run it now to encourage other women to do self checks.

I am running for my father and children who have lost parents

This marathon will be the second of 14 marathons I am running this year to raise awareness about Comfort Zone camps, which help children who have lost parents. This race is particularly poignant as I will be running it on the anniversary of my father’s death from cancer. I will carry his memory with me and to give children hope that life gets better.

Why I Will Be Walking

I am walking for my friend, Cindy, who is no longer on this earth with us. She was a joy and inspiration like no other. I am walking for my friend, Cheryl, who has had a recurrence now in her lungs. She is fighting with grace and strength. I am walking for myself. I am a Survivor. I was diagnosed in 2010 and the last few years have been hard. Ready to Finish It!!!!

Do it for those who can’t… image

I send this message with a heavy heart- my Beautiful Aunt Robyn lost her battle with breast cancer on Saturday. She was a lover of life and an incredibly blessed singer. If she was able she would run all 26.2 singing to you, but she can’t. If I was able I would run all 26.2 with you in her honor, but I can’t. If you don’t have an inspiration to run 26.2, you do now. Please do it for my Aunt Robyn and all those who wish they could join you. Let’s Finish Breast Cancer- Forever!
- Her Loving Family in Jacksonville, FL

Donna Rutherford

My sweet beautiful aunt, Donna Rutherford just lost a long hard struggle with breast cancer. I am doing this half marathon in memory of my aunt and how brave she was.

I run for Jan McAllister

Why I run…I have run this Marathon for the past 6 years to honor an incredible woman, Jan McAllister. Each year I run has been meaningful for various reasons. What has remained constant is I run 26.2 miles to honor a courageous woman. Jan has battled this disease for the past 6 years. I have run for her as a Fighter and Survivor depending on the year. The past 6 years I have felt so honored to give the race medal to Jan at the finish line, she deserved it, this year will be different. With the deepest sorrow I will run this year to honor her memory. Jan passed away August 22, 2013.
I feel so honored that for the last 11 years I have gotten to know, love and be loved by Jan. Her warm heart, selflessness and overall good nature touched every person she met. She had a way of making you feel so special and cared for.
I met Jan because her daughter Amanda started babysitting for us 11 years ago. Instantly Jan welcomed our family into hers. We started spending time with the McAllisters. Our families became even closer when in 2006 I had my twin sons 3 months pre-mature. I reflect often on that time because I never met anyone who showed such support unconditionally. Jan and Amanda took over our daughters lives who were 7 and 4 at the time. Sean and I were trying to care for our twins who were in the NICU for 2 months. Jan and Amanda stepped in and did not think twice about doing anything we needed. When Jan was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2007, it was so painful to not be able to help. Jan was such a proud and private person. She never used the excuse she was sick. She had cancer but she did not let that define her. She always looked her best and put out her best even when she was not feeling great. What drove her every day was Hope. She truly believed she was going to win this battle. She fought so hard and had so much faith.
It is hard to put into words when you have dear friends that you love. Friends that are so intertwined into your lives that they are your family but not related by blood. That is what the McAllisters are to our family. We have spent holiday’s together, vacations, birthdays, kids school events and just every day occurrences. Each of those was special, because Jan had a way of making everything a celebration with great ease. She had a grace and class in all situations.
I look at Jan’s life and have so much admiration. Her marriage was filled with so much deep and true love. I looked to her and Dave as models of what a long, loving relationship would be. They have seen good times and bad and always came out together with a strong bond that allowed them to face anything that came their way.
Amanda and Ryan, Jan’s children are so lucky to have a lifetime of awesome memories because of all the incredible traditions Jan created with her family. Jan also gained another son in her Son In Law Graham. As a Mother, I look forward knowing my daughters are loved and cared for and a have a bright future for a true and happy marriage as Jan knew her daugther has with Graham. Last year Jan got the most beautiful gift a Mother can ask for, a blessing in her Granddaughter Quinn Joy. The time Jan spent with Quinn was always filled with smiles and laughter. Jan’s days were literally filled with pure Joy when with her Granddaughter. Every friend of Jan’s I have had the pleasure of meeting are the kindest, sweetest people. Through Jan I have gained friends that were hers that are a reflection of the person she was and I can proudly say the are my friends now too.
Jan told me once she was going through this because she believed she was here to help others. She thought her enduring all that she went through was for a reason. That was her, she was so determined to win, to help others doing it.
She always looked for a reason to believe. She had the strength to go forward and not look back. I am sure there were private moments that she may have wondered why me?- but no one ever knew about any fears or thoughts of not beating this. My hope in running this Marathon every year is to honor someone who I love so much but also so that her daughter, her granddaughter, my daughters and all women do not have to fight this battle. It is not an easy one even know Jan showed such grace and dignity. Jan is Hero to me. She always made me want to be a better person. She brings out the best in all who have been touched by her. I love you Jan and will run with honor and pride for you.
Cancer effects all, currently My Mom, Kate Purdy is receiving treatment for Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. As if this cause was not personal enough with my dear friend Jan, I am now witnessing another strong woman trying to fight this disease. This disease effects all of us. There is no discrimination.
THis year I can not place a medal around Jan’s neck but I will be surounded by her family and mine. Jan’s husband, daugther, son and son in law along w/ my husband and 2 daugthers are participating in Relay Teams. Every year Jan would say, “Some day I will run this”. This year she will be an angel on my of our backs. I know I will miss her dearly along the race course and finish line but she will push me with her wonderful spirit.

I run for Jan McAllister

Why I run…I have run this Marathon for the past 6 years to honor an incredible woman, Jan McAllister. Each year I run has been meaningful for various reasons. What has remained constant is I run 26.2 miles to honor a courageous woman. Jan has battled this disease for the past 6 years. I have run for her as a Fighter and Survivor depending on the year. The past 6 years I have felt so honored to give the race medal to Jan at the finish line, she deserved it, this year will be different. With the deepest sorrow I will run this year to honor her memory. Jan passed away August 22, 2013.
I feel so honored that for the last 11 years I have gotten to know, love and be loved by Jan. Her warm heart, selflessness and overall good nature touched every person she met. She had a way of making you feel so special and cared for.
I met Jan because her daughter Amanda started babysitting for us 11 years ago. Instantly Jan welcomed our family into hers. We started spending time with the McAllisters. Our families became even closer when in 2006 I had my twin sons 3 months pre-mature. I reflect often on that time because I never met anyone who showed such support unconditionally. Jan and Amanda took over our daughters lives who were 7 and 4 at the time. Sean and I were trying to care for our twins who were in the NICU for 2 months. Jan and Amanda stepped in and did not think twice about doing anything we needed. When Jan was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2007, it was so painful to not be able to help. Jan was such a proud and private person. She never used the excuse she was sick. She had cancer but she did not let that define her. She always looked her best and put out her best even when she was not feeling great. What drove her every day was Hope. She truly believed she was going to win this battle. She fought so hard and had so much faith.
It is hard to put into words when you have dear friends that you love. Friends that are so intertwined into your lives that they are your family but not related by blood. That is what the McAllisters are to our family. We have spent holiday’s together, vacations, birthdays, kids school events and just every day occurrences. Each of those was special, because Jan had a way of making everything a celebration with great ease. She had a grace and class in all situations.
I look at Jan’s life and have so much admiration. Her marriage was filled with so much deep and true love. I looked to her and Dave as models of what a long, loving relationship would be. They have seen good times and bad and always came out together with a strong bond that allowed them to face anything that came their way.
Amanda and Ryan, Jan’s children are so lucky to have a lifetime of awesome memories because of all the incredible traditions Jan created with her family. Jan also gained another son in her Son In Law Graham. As a Mother, I look forward knowing my daughters are loved and cared for and a have a bright future for a true and happy marriage as Jan knew her daugther has with Graham. Last year Jan got the most beautiful gift a Mother can ask for, a blessing in her Granddaughter Quinn Joy. The time Jan spent with Quinn was always filled with smiles and laughter. Jan’s days were literally filled with pure Joy when with her Granddaughter. Every friend of Jan’s I have had the pleasure of meeting are the kindest, sweetest people. Through Jan I have gained friends that were hers that are a reflection of the person she was and I can proudly say the are my friends now too.
Jan told me once she was going through this because she believed she was here to help others. She thought her enduring all that she went through was for a reason. That was her, she was so determined to win, to help others doing it.
She always looked for a reason to believe. She had the strength to go forward and not look back. I am sure there were private moments that she may have wondered why me?- but no one ever knew about any fears or thoughts of not beating this. My hope in running this Marathon every year is to honor someone who I love so much but also so that her daughter, her granddaughter, my daughters and all women do not have to fight this battle. It is not an easy one even know Jan showed such grace and dignity. Jan is Hero to me. She always made me want to be a better person. She brings out the best in all who have been touched by her. I love you Jan and will run with honor and pride for you.
Cancer effects all, currently My Mom, Kate Purdy is receiving treatment for Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. As if this cause was not personal enough with my dear friend Jan, I am now witnessing another strong woman trying to fight this disease. This disease effects all of us. There is no discrimination.
THis year I can not place a medal around Jan’s neck but I will be surounded by her family and mine. Jan’s husband, daugther, son and son in law along w/ my husband and 2 daugthers are participating in Relay Teams. Every year Jan would say, “Some day I will run this”. This year she will be an angel on my of our backs. I know I will miss her dearly along the race course and finish line but she will push me with her wonderful spirit.

NHL patient/survivor 1yr later 7.10.13 and still smiling

I never had a desire to run any marathons as I was always that casual 5K kind of gal – until June 2012 when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and my world has truly changed since. In Jan,2013 I finished chemotherapy and started a new 2-yr biotherapy regiment, not nearly a toxic as chemo! I spent 2013 rebuilding my life, regaining my energy and became active within our LLS Suncoast FL chapter, met our TNT staff as an honorary hero at TNT events, “drank their kool-aid” and joined TNT in May 2013 to train for our St. Petersburg’s FL Women Running 1/2-marathon ~ and proud to share that I crossed that finish line! Today I join you for all cancer patients, to encourage them to stay strong, be empowered by their illness, embrace their battle and this journey and they too will see their Bright Light and cross their own finish line – Together as warriors we stand strong in this battle against cancer so all can say: Someday is Today… For a Cure.

Why Pink Feet ‘Continues’ to Run! 1551754_10152220139295127_1463693438_n

My name is Melissa Johnson and I am a 7 year 26.2 with Donna ‘Streaker’! I signed up for the Inaugural 26.2 with Donna in 2008 in memory of my grandmother who i lost to breast cancer that past summer. I had never run a race before in my life. I knew i couldn’t even run a mile. But i still registered. I thought the worst that was going to happen is i would walk most of it.

The Donna is so welcoming of walkers and the Galloway Run/Walk program. And that is exactly how i learned to run, while training for that race!

The course was so beautiful and the crowd support was so amazing! Donna’s story and her passion to the cause is so contagious, it has brought me back every year!

I have since run 35 half marathons in 14 states and this will be my 5th full marathon with 26.2 with Donna. And i have compared every single race to The Donna!

There is not a single race that i have found that is as dedicated to the cause! Not only do 100% proceeds benefit the Mayo Clinic and Donna Foundation, but now the Weaver Foundation has stepped up to match eligible fundraisers! Its just amazing!

Fundraising is voluntary, yet i have, every single year. It really gives me a chance to get involved and to make a difference in community. I am so proud to be part of, and have such an amazing race right here in my backyard!

Follow my mission as I continue to race the 50 states and spread the word on The Donna! www.pinkfeet.blogspot.com

Running for Assumption School

This is my 9th year teaching at Assumption Catholic School and its amazing the wonderful stories of survival that some of the women who either have children attending our school or teach that have gone through and beat Breast Cancer. Myself along with another coach will be running in the marathon for the 2nd straight year with all their names on our shirts along with my grandmothers name who is also a survivor.
Tony Polster Jacksonville Florida

Russo

I was diagnosed with an aggressive, stage 2b breast cancer nearly a year ago. I’ve been through chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and finished radiation in December. A dear friend inspired me to sign up in the midst of treatment… I’m running the full marathon to celebrate life! Life is ridiculously hard but we have to keep moving forward, one step at a time!

Running Thru Chemo

I ran this race last year with not a care in the world. We were looking for a fast course nearby in February. My how times change. In October I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a week after I turned 40 and fabulous. In November, I ran my first marathon in 12 years and qualified for the Boston Marathon. A week later, I was in the operating room for mastectomy when cancer was found in my lymph nodes. Now, I am running thru chemo. My oncologist says I am his first patient to run a half marathon in the course of treatment. I am still 40 and fabulous, but also bald and beautiful. Suck it cancer! See you at the finish line.
Julie Wade, Savannah GA, lawyer, mom of 3, runner, and cancer fighter

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