Million Dollar Marathon: The People Behind the Idea - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Million Dollar Marathon: The People Behind the Idea

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A small crowd gathered on the beach near Ocean Shores, Washington as one man stood back and watched cancer survivor share their stories of struggle and strength.

Steve Cannon, program director of the Million Dollar Marathon said, "To hear their stories on the beach of why they were there, and to reflect on my own stories, people that are dear to me that I've lost and most recently people that have come into the fight, it was really an emotional moment.

Watching that baton take off from the ocean and start toward the other side of the country was a dream come true for Steve Cannon.  Cannon approached Dr. Richard Deming with his idea for a coast to coast relay.  Deming is a cancer doctor in Des Moines and one of the founders of Above + Beyond Cancer.

Deming told Cannon, "It sounds like a totally audacious idea, I love it!"

Doing something like this on such a large scale is meant to draw attention, to raise awareness and inspire, as well as raise money for cancer research and survivor programs.  One of the best ways to lower your chances of getting cancer is to live a healthy live and exercise.

Cannon says, "This event has the ability to inspire somebody to eat a little better.  Maybe they're never going to run.  Maybe it inspires them to live a healthier life.  Maybe it ignites something in them that has been dormant for a very long time.  If you go for a run, you inspire 10 people.  If 100 of us go for a run we inspire 10 thousand people.  That's super cool."

Next week the runners will be in Des Moines.  There are a lot of events that are going to be happening in connection to the million dollar marathon when it gets here.  If you want to learn how to get involved or donate to the cause, go to

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