BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
No, you are not seeing things! We, yes, WE, are running the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2017. Yes, we are a little bit crazy, but running this marathon is so incredibly personal and important to both of us. We are running for our warrior, Sophia, and all of the other warriors we have met on our journey over the last year. We are running to raise money for the pediatric hematology-oncology clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. This clinic is truly unlike any other we have been to, and unfortunately, we've been to several. We are running because this clinic and its doctors and nurses saved Sophia's life and although we can never thank them for that in any way that is even close to equal, we can run, so that's what we are going to do.
Last year on January 13th, our lives came to a halting screech when Sophia was diagnosed with recurrent medulloblastoma, pediatric brain cancer. Sophia was first sick in 2010 with medulloblastoma and endured several brain surgeries, high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. In 2011, Sophia completed her treatment course and remained cancer-free until 2016. After the relapse diagnosis, Sophia had another brain surgery to remove the tumor followed by 30 rounds of radiation to her brain and spine and then additional rounds of chemotherapy, at MGH.
In 2010, the treatment was brutal on Sophia's tiny body and because of how much treatment abuse she had already experienced, her relapse treatment was an extremely difficult battle. We had to adjust her treatment plan almost weekly because her body was just too tired to withstand so much chemo. To watch a child go through what Sophia endured this past year is not something we could ever put into words. At just 7-8 years old, this little girl was called on to be braver, stronger and more resilient that anyone has ever been. Unable to go to school, unable to even be around anyone unfamiliar to her due to the risk of infection because of her insanely weakened immune system, this little warrior had to try to understand how to just keep on keeping on. She had to believe things would get better, she had to believe in hope and have faith that we, with her doctors and nurses, would fight too.
And that's just what she did. It wasn't easy. Most days, it was absolute hell, but she did it. She fought and fought and so did we. Now we will run and run because not only did Sophia fight and not only did we fight, but so did her incredibly amazing team of doctors and nurses at MGH and there is no other way to thank them than to be able to raise awareness and money to give back.
We are running on an amazing team, the Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time. Our team is raising money to support the pediatric hematology-oncology program at Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC,) where Sophia received all of her care. All funds raised go directly to cancer care and research initiatives for the hospital's youngest cancer patients.
Your donations also go to a program that is very important to our family, the Child Life program. This program utilizes therapeutic play such as music and art therapy to help pediatric cancer patients and their families cope both emotionally and developmentally with their illnesses. Most weeks throughout the entire year Sophia was going through treatment, her music and art therapy were the only interaction/activity she had all week. The therapists understand how weak these children are and are incredibly sensitive to their needs and illnesses. Without these programs along with all of the Child Life therapists who played with Sophia, brought crafts to her hospital room, watched movies with her and just kept us company, we would not have made it through last year.
This is obviously a cause so near and dear to both our hearts. We could not be more honored to run this marathon, together, on the MGH Pediatric Cancer Team. We could not be more proud to have made it through last year, stronger, tougher and braver than ever and we most certainly can not think of a better reason to cross that Finish Line than for Sophia. Sophia fought like hell last year and has through almost all of her short time on this earth. There is no better example of strength and perseverance than this little girl.
Please help us raise money for these incredible causes. When we cross that Finish Line, we, with Sophia, want to look back on the hardest year of our lives with only pride and love.
Lots and lots and lots of love.
Oh, and everyone, this page is for both of us! Our team allowed us to share a fundraising page, so our fundraising goal reflects the amount of money we have to raise TOGETHER. We appreciate your time, prayers and generosity.
All Our Love,
Alyssa and Rich