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Family runs Chicago Marathon for cancer cure

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Five members of the Majors family including, Chris (left) and Jeff Walker, Mark Major, his daughter Courtney Major and her uncle Danny Major present Relay For Life Chairman two checks totaling $1,600 meant to help find the cure for cancer and assist Clay County residents battling cancer. The family members ran the Chicago Marathon in October 2011, and donated the money they raised through Mark's co-workers to the philanthropic organization. [Order this photo]
Five members of the Majors family tied their laces and ran for the cure to remember loved ones affected by cancer in Chicago October 2011.

Now, they are bringing the money they raised back home to Clay County.

Brazil native and Florida resident Mark Majors ran alongside his brother Danny Majors, Brazil, his daughter Courtney Majors, Eagle Lake, Fla., and his two nephews Chris, Brazil, and Jeff Walker, Plainfield, in the 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.

Collectively, they have more than a handful of immediate family members and friends who have either won or lost their battle with cancer.

"When I decided to run in the marathon, I e-mailed the guys I worked with at Progress Energy in Polk County, Fla., and they agreed to sponsor me per mile," Mark explained. "I thought if I was going to do this, I'm not going to do it alone."

Mark and Danny's father, Paul Majors, died of colon cancer in 1969, but their mother, Edith Majors, remarried their stepfather, Tom Pugh, in 1971.

The family lost both Tom and Edith in 2010 to different cancers.

Edith suffered from both bone and lung cancer, and Paul died from cancer of the liver.

Meanwhile, Danny himself was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008, but he is now a survivor.

"I also have had several friends battle cancer," Danny said. "My friend Ron Pierce (Brazil) died this year in August, and another guy I know, Homer Shadowheart is fighting lung cancer."

In addition doctors diagnosed Chris and Jeff's mother, Stella Walker, with uterine cancer in January 2010, but she overcame the perilous disease.

"All of the boys in my family ran track and cross country in school; so we ran the marathon in remembrance of our family.

"It was a challenge because none of us had ran that far in years," Mark said. "Early on, you think about it (the family) a lot, and at the end you think about it a lot, but there's a lot of (physical and emotional) pain going through it."

Danny, who recently became a Clay County Relay for Life committee member, said running the race together made the difference.

"Doing it with seven other family members kept me going," Danny said. "I had a good time doing it."

Tuesday afternoon, the family presented two checks totaling $1,600 to Relay for Life Chairman Carrol Evans by the Relay for Life Christmas tree in the Clay County Courthouse.

With the help of his co-workers, Mark raised $1,500 for the Relay organization, and Danny added $100 more.

According to Evans, the money will be used to help the people of Clay County battling cancer receive the care and support they need, as well as to help find a cure for the disease.

"The day we ran the marathon would have also been mom's birthday," Mark said. "We're thinking about running again, but we're not sure yet."

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