BENEFITING: The DONNA Foundation
EVENT: 2018 DONNA Marathon Weekend
EVENT DATE: Feb 11, 2018
Brian O'Neil wrote -Melissa's Magnificent Avengers was formed in 2012 and was made up of family and friends to support my wife, Melissa O'Neil as she was running her second DONNA marathon. My Melissa is a Military Spouse, Proud Mom of two young adults, a Nurse, a Veteran and a two-time Breast Cancer Survivor. She has been an athlete all her life and it was sports that changed and saved her life. She was first diagnosed at the age of 30. She found a lump on a self breast exam shortly after being elbowed in the chest playing basketball ( which was a blessing in disguise). After having a mastectomy in 1997 with reconstruction she tried not to skip a beat and kept living life--coaching youth soccer, running, camping, and living life. Fast forward almost 5 years and she found a lump in her armpit...the cancer was back. She had surgery, chemo, radiation and all the side effects; but through it all she ran. At first, running represented her running away from her cancer and her fears. "I would run to clear my head. It wasn't running from cancer but running towards life! It gave me strength and made me feel free" Her first race was the 2003 Seattle Race for the Cure while she was going through treatment. She since has run several 5K's, 15K's, 10 milers, & 1/2 marathons. She met Donna at the Disney Expo in 2009 and Donna encouraged her to register and run the marathon. But due to peripheral neuropathy (a permanent side effect from chemo) Melissa was told she shouldn't run marathons, but after seeing a new neurologist she finally gave in to Donna's request and in 2011 ran her first marathon. She has run a total of 8 marathons (7-26.2 with Donna and 1-Marine Corps). This race is important for all it stands for and represents...but more importantly, it's the ONLY race where 100% of donations and all proceeds go directly towards research and care This is one race she will continue to run as long as she can and she will never give up raising awareness. The 26.2 with Donna is a time to remember, honor and celebrate! DONATE AND HELP US FINISH BREAST CANCER!