Published on February 13, 2013

Nonprofit for families battling cancer to be on hand at marathon's Fitness Expo

By Beth Cravey, The Florida Times-Union

Kids Together Against Cancer will operate a booth at the 26.2 With Donna The National Marathon To Finish Breast Cancer's Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

The nonprofit supports families where the parent or caregiver has been diagnosed with cancer. The booth will feature the "Healing Hands" display where children can write a message of hope and love on cut-out hands that will be displayed, according to a news release.

Also, volunteers will provide information on workshops, one-on-one counseling, monthly meetings and bereavement programs.

The 26.2 with Donna, which includes a marathon, half marathon and relay on Sunday, as well as a 5K and Family Fun Run in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday, is expecting more than 10,000 registered participants this year. Seventy percent of race proceeds and raised funds goes directly to breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic, and 30 percent goes to help breast cancer patients on the First Coast through The Donna Foundation.

Kids Together Against Cancer is a free program offered by St. Vincent's HealthCare to families with children ages 5 to 17.

The workshop program, in collaboration with the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, includes five sessions that are held at Riverside Presbyterian Day School. Dinner is served at the meetings and all workshops are open to any North Florida patient regardless of where they are receiving treatment, according to the release.

Each session in the workshop includes a specific topic. Art educators and clinical social workers help the children complete an interactive and fun project that promotes discussion of emotions and feelings. Adults meet separately in a group led by a clinical social worker to learn how to effectively communicate with their children, according to the release.

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