26.2 with Donna grows stronger

9th annual marathon held in the Beaches

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – The fight against breast cancer just got even stronger with the support of thousands of runners in the ninth 26.2 with Donna. The marathon has raised millions for the Mayo Clinic and Donna Foundation to end breast cancer. A lot of the runners were running for someone special.

“My wife Phelicia died 18 years ago here. She was treated by Edith Perez and Mayo Clinic is terrific. Thinking of Licia the whole way,” Joe O' Conor said.

“Margaret Anne Balsamo, who, is a breast cancer survivor and fighter all the way and for all the women out there fighting the good fight," Julie Stackhouse said.

“Feels good. We came out just to have fun, support her and support PRS Running Club. They’ve been by our side the entire time. So, we wanted to come out and show them that cancer is not going to stop us. We’re going to keep on pushing and do what we love,” Marc Burget said.

For this year’s men’s race leader, it’s a deeply personal one. His wife greeted him at the finish line.

“I was diagnosed in January and had my first chemo treatment at the end of January. So, my next one is coming up this week. So just going through this just kind of uplifts you.” said Marc's wife, Christina Burget.

Christina Burget and others fighting breast cancer had the support of 10,000 runners from every state in the U.S. and 11 countries braving the early-morning cold. The runners dressed in layers. When they shed the layers along the course, volunteers picked up the clothes to be donated to charity.

One Hundred percent of race proceeds goes to breast cancer research and care. 

“I always say that our mantra at 26.2 with Donna is love over fear. With every year that we go on with this, I am more and more convinced that in 20 years, we’re not going to have breast cancer. I’ll tell you that,” Donna Deegan, race founder said.