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"One on the Run" takes Cancer Survivor Across the Country, Ending in Jacksonville

5:28 PM, Aug 3, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After 2,520 miles, Helene Neville took the final steps of a 93 day journey Sunday.

Neville is an inspiration to many. A three-time brain cancer survivor, her "One on the Run" trek has taken her from Ocean Beach, California, to Atlantic Beach, Florida.

She joined with Donna Deegan and the 26.2 with Donna National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer for the final miles.

I wanted to inspire change in my profession, Neville said. "And in the run, to help others realize their dreams by leading by example."

The Pheonix, Arizona nurse is promoting her health and fitness book Nurses in Shape, and the proceeds have a special purpose.

Neville's mother, who had lung cancer, is her inspiration for the run. After her death, Neville found out the single mother had been quietly donating to her childhood school, the St. Frances de Sales Grammer School, for years.

Neville took up the cause.

"To us it's really exciting to be here at the end and to welcome her that she made it," said Sister Constance, who came from the school in Philadelphia to see Neville cross the finish ine. "She had the courage to try to do something and she accomplished it."

17 days into the run, Neville received a phone call from her doctors. Tests done just prior to the start of her run revealed she had thyroid cancer.

But Neville kept running.

"This brings together everybody, that we're really all one," she said as they mixed sand from the Pacific and Gulf shores with Atlantic coast sands.

From ocean to ocean, this cancer survivor is determined to keep spreading hope.

"A cancer diagnosis does not mean a death sentence," Neville said. "You control your own destiny as far as how you're going to live through. You can still have hope. And where there's life there's still hope."

First Coast News

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