GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The pre-morning run began with smiles, despite the chilly, weather.
Saturday morning's early run served a cause much bigger than these 7 people going for a jog.
"Yesterday kicked off, March 1st, colon cancer awareness month. As many know, my husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer," said Audrey Kirkland.
Davy Kirkland's battle with colon cancer has drawn Audrey Kirkland to make big commitments.
"Everyday that I'm off in March, I have vowed to run and I'm going to donate so much money per mile to colon cancer," said Kirkland.
She said the support the community has given to her family has inspired her to give back.
It's her way of honoring the courageous spirits that touch her life daily.
"Every mile is for him and all those who absolutely go through a lot more than what I do," said Kirkland.
Kathlyne McDermott is one of the Kirklands' supporters.
McDermott's brother beat colon cancer and now she wants to help others.
"Just to raise awareness, there's so many people out there. My brother didn't even realize he had anything. He was a picture of health," said McDermott.
Kirkland's 2 teenage daughters led the pack for an issue close to their hearts.
"Whenever he got diagnosed, it was pretty traumatizing but you know, the more we do, I think the more motivated we get to keep it going," said 17-year-old Megan Eubanks.
As each foot hit the ground, in less than ideal weather conditions, they weren't complaining.
The run wasn't about them.
"I run to support my step dad," said 13-year-old Millie Eubanks.
"My husband to me is a hero everyday for what he goes through," said Kirkland.
"I love you and you're my hero," said Megan Eubanks.
As one man continues his battle with cancer, one family has translated a disheartening diagnosis into an opportunity to show love.
"I mean we are so blessed," said Kirkland.
For more information on how you can help raise awareness for colon cancer click HERE.