77ºF

Thousands run 26.2 with Donna to end breast cancer

Annual event raises money and awareness about the disease

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – People braved a cold morning to to walk or run in the eighth annual 26.2 with Donna, raising money and awareness about the disease. The eighth annual marathon took place at Jacksonville Beach Sunday. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

Thousands of people have been training for months and the day they've been waiting for to support breast cancer research finally came. Donna Puckett's daughter ran for two people: a friend of hers and a friend of her mother's.

"It makes us very proud and very humbled that she takes such a self-less effort for the cause," Puckett says.

Since its first year in 2008 the event has contributed more than $3.5 million towards efforts to find a cure for the disease. Volunteers are glad they could help out.

"It's really important. a lot of people have to deal with this, so it's nice to be able to give back. it's really inspiring to watch everybody here doing it," said Sarah McAuley.

Money raised goes to Mayo Clinic for breast cancer research and to the Donna Foundation to provide financial assistance to those with breast cancer.

One participant on the Knock Out for Knockers Relay Team says, "All of us are in the medical field. and we handle patients see patients. we see how they're affected by breast cancer and we want to support them with not only money, donations."

Another member of that relay team says, "And if I were in their situation I would want people to support me and it gives them encouragement to carry on."

And giving people support to carry on and information about prevention are other reasons this event is so important to the community.