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Seventh Annual 26.2 Run With Donna Marathon Looks To 'Finish Breast Cancer'


It’s a signature event on the First Coast calendar.

The seventh annual 26.2 Run With Donna Marathon will bring big crowds from across Florida and around the world to the Beaches this weekend.

Conceived by former First Coast News anchor and three-time breast cancer survivor Donna Deegan, the marathon is a major fundraiser for the research, funding and treatment of breast cancer.

"It has helped enormously as we research the genetic components to cancer," said Dr. Edith Perez, oncologist with the Mayo Clinic.

Perez says she'll be running right alongside Deegan.

"I can't get through this day without tears, but it's joyful too," said Deegan.

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among American women, second only to lung cancer. 296,000 new cases were reported last year.

The full marathon, half marathon and marathon relay will start at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 23. For more information, visit

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.