Million Dollar Marathon Makes it to Des Moines - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Million Dollar Marathon Makes it to Des Moines

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By: Sabrina Ahmed

The finish line for Tuesday's leg of the Million Dollar Marathon was at the Pappajohn Education Center.  As runners arrived to Des Moines from Adel, finishing their relay, others started to get geared up to continue their journey across the county.

Approaching the finish line, a million thoughts went through Michelle Flattery and Dotty Meltesen's heads.

"Friendship, survival, inspiration," Dotty said.

"It was the support that we needed and it was a lot more than just a fundraiser," Michelle said.

They both said this was another step in their healing process and in the journey, they've become fighters.

As these ladies finish their marathon in the relay from coast to coast, Kathy Wennihan is getting ready to take on her 26 miles, too.

"I've never run a marathon before.  I've never run anything before," Wennihan said.

But she knows she can do it.  After surviving cancer not once, but three times, and climbing Mount Everest on top of that, it didn't take much convincing.

"You did that, you could do a marathon," she said.

Wennihan will run the baton into Galesberg, Illinois Friday.  Saturday morning, the cancer fighting Tassin family will leave with it, carrying their message to everyone who gives up when they're diagnosed.

"When you're diagnosed with something as devastating as brain cancer or lung cancer, there's hope.  I am almost three years into my battle and you just, you live," Lori said.

The Tassin boys will be riding alongside their parents, sporting their support for above and beyond cancer: the logo shaved into their scalps.

Now just about everyone welcoming the runners at the finish line has been touched by cancer somehow, and the baton being carried across every finish line carries the names of everyone these people are running for with prayer flags.

The marathon leaves downtown Des Moines Wednesday morning at 9:30.

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