#DisneyMagicMoments: Runners who Inspire Us – Part 2

Emily Amato

by , Public Relations Manager

Here’s another incredible runDisney story of courage and hope, another #DisneyMagicMoment…this time from the 2019 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.

Boyd Dunleavey

The 2019 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend was particularly special for Boyd Dunleavey, a cancer survivor who completed the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. In 2011, Dunleavey was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and given a 10 percent chance of surviving more than a few months, barring a stem cell transplant from a donor outside his family. After a year of treatments and a cancer relapse in February 2012, doctors located a viable donor – Nathan Barnes, a gunners’ mate in the United States Navy who was stationed in Japan. In May 2012, Dunleavey finally received the life-saving transplant from Barnes.

Shortly after, Dunleavey began running as part of his recovery, and it quickly became a passion – in part because of his love of Disney and the community he found in runDisney. That passion led to something even bigger during the 2019 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend when, after more than seven years, Dunleavey and his family met Nathan Barnes, the man who saved his life. To cap off the magical weekend, Barnes was the first to embrace Dunleavey and present him with his medal when crossed the half marathon finish line.

Boyd Dunleavey

Here’s a look at Dunleavy’s magical experience. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog in the weeks to come as we look back at more amazing, inspirational #DisneyMagicMoments from runDisney events!


  • Awesome! Thank you all for sharing this inspirational (and motivational) story!

  • Thanks runDisney and stay safe everyone!!

  • Thanks runDisney!! Warmest regards!!

  • God bless Nathan for giving the gift of life, and living up to the meaning of his name. And may God bless Boyd with a long and healthy life.

    Thank you to the Disney Parks blog for these inspiring (if tear-inducing!) stories.

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