Cancer survivor challenged to run for second time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- More than 12,000 runners from 20 countries are expected to run in this year's 26.2 with Donna.

One of those runners is Kristen Wiley, a Jacksonville breast cancer survivor. Kristen ran the 26.2 with Donna in 2013, just one week after finishing her final chemotherapy treatment. In 2014, she is back to run it, once again.

Wiley was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in January of 2012. Days later, she took the most aggressive approach: a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

She went through 29 chemo treatments from March of 2012 to April of 2013, along with 27 radiations. After her days in and out of the Mayo Clinic, she returned to work to find a Donna 26.2 finisher medal on her desk. Kristen's co-worker ran in her honor and challenged her to run the next year.

"I said [to him] 'I am not a runner. I've never run. I don't like to run, I've never run that far. I don't know what you are thinking,'" said Kristen.

However, little by little, she started running with the Donna Galloway method. Through small increases of walking and running she trained for the 26.2 in 2013 with her co-worker shadowing her the entire race. Kristen said it was difficult, and on mile 18, she wanted to stop. However, she is back to run it once again in 2014, and she says she's stronger than ever.


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