On April 16, known as Marathon Monday in Massachusetts, the nine members of Team 15-40 Connection will run the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, Mass., to Boylston Street in Boston proper in the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon.

All nine are charity runners who will be wearing shirts to raise awareness for 15-40 Connection’s 3 Steps Detect education program — with an estimated one million spectators in 2017, the Boston Marathon is the most viewed sports event in New England.

What sets this group apart, though, is the tireless work they have done behind the scenes to smash through 15-40 Connection’s marathon fundraising record, and that they have spread the word in their own communities about why it’s so important to learn how to detect the early warning signs of cancer.

This year’s team reflects the statistic that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Three of the nine runners — Jessica, Melanie and Maura — are cancer survivors, while two others — Nicolette and Mike — have parents that have benefited from early cancer detection.

Seven members of the 2018 Boston Marathon team shared why they believe everyone should be equipped with 15-40 Connection’s 3 Steps Detect.

Melanie North

“15-40 Connection’s mission is so important to me as a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with my first bout of cervical cancer in 2012. If it were not for early detection I would not be here today running the Boston Marathon for this amazing organization! Early detection and the ability to know what to look for within your own body is extremely important.” – Melanie

Jessica Young

“I am so honored to be running the marathon for 15-40 Connection. Their 3 Steps Detect is critical knowledge for detecting cancers at an early stage. I know from personal experience that detecting cancer early can save your life, and I stand behind their mission to drive a new cancer conversation and spread the knowledge about early detection.” – Jessica

Mike Kotsopoulos

“When we know our “good,” we know when to reach for help when something feels “off.” My dad felt “off” two years ago and contacted his physician immediately. His primary care doctor tested his blood and discovered the early stage symptoms of prostate cancer. Thanks to this discovery, my dad underwent surgery to remove the cancer before it had the chance to develop any further.” – Mike

Nicolette DeBernardi

“If it was not detected by a routine mammogram in its early stages, my mom’s breast cancer could have turned into a much bigger issue than it was. Luckily, a simple surgery along with radiation treatment was able to rid her of any signs of the cancer. She is just one reason why I support 15-40’s mission. Getting yourself checked can save your life.” – Nicolette

John Romney

“When I first read about the mission of the 15-40 Connection, I could sense the importance and benefit to teaching people, especially the younger crowd, about early cancer detection… I believe that if one of my cousins had known what I now know, he may have had a different outcome and not have succumbed to Hodgkin lymphoma. I want to help make this education available to all.” – John

Maura Power

“15-40 Connection has the right idea about knowing what our great feels like and paying attention to when we are feeling off, coupled with a reasonable timeline to visit the doctor. Along with having a relationship with our healthcare providers, 3 Steps Detect makes for a good tool in our health tool belt!” – Maura

Delaney Benison

“Cancer touches all of our lives either directly or indirectly. 15-40 Connection is committed to education and early detection as its unique way of beating cancer for everyone. For 15-40, knowledge is power, and power can be another life saved.” – Delaney

What’s in it for you?

Much more!