On May 3rd, 2014, From the Heart honored three families experiencing the physical, emotional, and personal journey of cancer.

Jean Borgman


Jean Borgman was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2013. Once diagnosed, further testing indicated that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Jean has undergone a lumpectomy and is, currently, receiving chemotherapy which will continue for several months followed by a series of radiation treatments.

Jean has a beautiful spirit and is focused on being a SURVIVOR! Jean is supported by her husband, Jim Borgman (The Paint Man) and their two children, Peter and Claire (married to Brandon Livingood). Jean has been a special education teacher for several years in both the Owatonna and Waseca school districts. Jean thanks the Owatonna community from the “bottom of her heart” for the outpouring love and support that she has been receiving during her journey.

John Berning


John Berning has been the head custodian at Willow Creek for the past 21 years and was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma skin cancer in June of 2010. After having the tumor removed, John found out that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes under his arms. After a two year span consisting of several PET scans and every three month check-ups, another spot was found in virtually the same location. Additional treatment followed. On February 11, 2014, John received word, once again, that the cancer had returned. John has started chemotherapy treatments that could be followed up with radiation.

John is not sure how the new treatment will go but he is keeping a positive attitude. On his desk at Willow Creek is a saying, “Never, Never, Never Give Up” and this is exactly what John intends to do! He is very thankful for the support of his family, co-workers and the Owatonna community.

Rodney Earlywine


Rodney was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the left tonsil and base of tongue in June 2011. A July surgery included removal of the tumor and 34 lymph nodes in his neck. Months of therapy followed to address swallowing difficulties and physical limitations.

PET scans initially showed encouraging results, but a biopsy in October 2013 showed cancer remained. Current treatment options include extreme surgery with a limited survival rate, or non-curative chemotherapy. Rodney and his family are exploring additional potential treatment options at this time.

The Earlywine family moved to Owatonna in 2001, and now consider Minnesota home! Rodney and Susan have been married for more than 27 years, and have enjoyed volunteering in various capacities in the churches, schools, and communities in which they have lived and worked.
They are the proud parents of two OHS graduates, Devin (2004) and Alexa (2008). The Earlywine family feels truly blessed by the love and support of their friends and extremely grateful to be honored in this year’s From the Heart Run.

Contact Information:

From The Heart PO Box 853 Owatonna, MN 55060