People love to back a cause, whether it’s sending in a donation or buying cupcakes at a bake sale. It gives people a sense of happiness knowing they have done something to help another. Just hearing about it can warm some people’s hearts and motivate them to make a difference. That’s exactly what the DONNA Foundation has been doing. They have been getting people to lace up their shoes and run to finish Breast Cancer since 2008.
The DONNA Foundation is a non-profit organization in Northeast Florida. They are so far, the only organization in the U.S. to dedicate a marathon to breast cancer research, awareness and care. Their overall mission is to provide financial assistance and support to individuals, both women and men, living with breast cancer and fund the ground-breaking breast cancer research.
This organization was named after award-winning journalist, philanthropist and marathoner, Donna Deegan. She is the founder and president.
Deegan is a three-time breast cancer survivor, a wife and a mother of two, who wrote two memoirs about her treatment and recovery, as well as, about sending encouragement to those with altering challenges to change their prospective from fear to love.
“We are celebrating our tenth year of the marathon. Since 2008, we have seen literally hundreds of thousands of runners, spectators, volunteers and philanthropists come out to support this enormous cause,” said Deegan. “It warms my heart that our Jacksonville community and people across the world have stepped up in support of our mission to finish breast cancer. We are more confident than ever that we are nearing the finish line and it would not be possible without every person on the course. We are eternally grateful.”
The foundation has served more than 10,000 families since this foundation began in 2003 — after Deegan’s second diagnosis.
They even helped develop and maintain the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program. Thanks to their continuation to fund the laboratory, it’s possible for the team to not only conduct state-of-the-art breast cancer research; but provide genomics support for studies in all forms of cancers. Among those research studies, they’ve working on the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Vaccine Trials.
Deegan created the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer and 26.2 with DONNA in 2008. They are listed as one of CNN Travel’s seven U.S. Marathon’s Worth the Trip and voted as favorite charity race by Women’s Running Magazine readers.
The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer is held annually in the second week of February. During that weekend, they have supporters and participants from all over the U.S. and more than 20 countries showing their love.
According to their website, that weekend brings in approximately $5 million in economic impact to the community each year. Plus, since their inaugural race in 2008, the DONNA Foundation has given $5 million of their race proceeds to their vision to finish breast cancer.
Their 10th Anniversary National Marathon will be held Friday, February 10 thru Sunday, February 12.