I'm a 2015 ambassador for the 26.2 with Donna race in Jacksonville Beach, FL. I was first introduced to this race by my #CorralG sister, Social Media Specialist for the race, Marcia Barton. She is PASSIONATE about her hometown race, and a fabulous ambassador for the race. But it was in reading Donna Deegan's book this weekend that I really came to know and love the namesake of the race and get fired up about fundraising again for DONNA.
Through Rose Colored Glasses: A Marathon from Fear to Love is Donna's second book about her third - yes, THIRD - bout with breast cancer. Donna Deegan was a local news anchor in Jacksonville who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Before being diagnosed a third time in 2007, Donna and her oncologist, Dr. Edith Perez, hatched a plan to create the nation's first marathon solely dedicated to breast cancer. 100% of proceeds go to the cause - 70% to research done at Mayo Clinic under Dr. Perez's brilliant direction, and 30% to supporting local women undergoing treatment. Donna's second book chronicles her struggle with being diagnosed a third time while planning the inaugural event. It also shows how she incorporated meditation and alternative medicine to help shift her perspective on cancer and life in general.
Since it's inception, 26.2 with Donna in partnership with the DONNA Foundation has raised over $3.5 million to help finish breast cancer. I loved how Donna explained the shift in her mindset and in the focus of the race from fighting to finishing. In her own experiences, she realized that living with the fight mentality made living with cancer grueling. She also recalls losing a dear friend to cancer, and finally feeling fed up with the fighting mentality. A few weeks later at a board meeting for the race, Donna proclaimed that it was time to start talking about "finishing breast cancer" - not fighting it. The idea of being part of an organization that is honestly working to finish breast cancer - donating such a significant portion of proceeds to research with the nation's leading team in the field as well as helping patients live their lives while undergoing treatment - is an honor and a blessing.
As I mentioned in my first post about becoming an ambassador I, like Marcia, like Donna, wholeheartedly believe that Dr. Perez and her team, with the support of the DONNA Foundation and the 26.2 with Donna race, will find a cure and finish breast cancer IN OUR LIFETIME! And the hopeful part of this for me is that this research will unlock our ability to finish all cancers. This is a cause I am passionate about too. And I ask you, on this #GivingTuesday, to consider making a donation and helping us, as a team, #BeTheFinish.
For more information on 26.2 with Donna, visit www.breastcancermarathon.com. Interested in joining us? Use my ambassador code, "AmbLove15" for $10 OFF - and don't forget to tell them Katie sent you.
For more information on Dr. Perez and her work at Mayo, check out this bio.