It is with gratitude and excitement that I will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon with the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where my aunt Terry Dooley was treated for pancreatic cancer. My passion for running was instilled in me by Terry, a Boston Marathoner herself, and I am honored to run the marathon in her memory. Thanks to the innovative treatment regimen and the care and commitment of the doctors, nurses, and staff at BIDMC, Terry's life was prolonged by two years.
When she wasn't working as a respiratory therapist at Cape Cod Hospital, Terry was training for road races, gardening, clamming, or swimming in the Bay. In 2010, Terry was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given months to live. She underwent an innovative, high-tech treatment called the CyberKnife, developed and refined at BIDMC, which delivers extremely targeted, very high doses of radiation directly to a tumor. The treatment could be completed in 5-6 sessions instead of conventional radiation which can require weeks of daily treatment. This allowed Terry a quality of life in which she could still live on Cape Cod, go to work and help her own patients, and carry on with her favorite pastimes even with a cancer diagnosis. Even as her cancer progressed that year, she ran two 5-mile road races on the Cape, the Irish Pub Road Race and the Brew Run, and our family rallied with matching green T-shirts to "Do as the Dooley’s Do".
Terry ultimately lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in April of 2012. Today, we keep her memory alive with friends and family sporting bright orange "Run for Terry" T-shirts at the local road races, and a scholarship fund for high school students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. The Blood Lab at Cape Cod Hospital was dedicated in her name, a true testament to her 32-year dedication to the job. I think her and our shared love for running often. Since then, I've run many half marathons and two full marathons, always with Terry in my heart.
Cancer has touched so many of our lives. I also run to remember my aunt Ceil Clune, who fought a long battle with leukemia and always encouraged me to pursue a career in cancer research. And my uncle Greg Fay, who even through cancer could put a smile on anyone's face.
I have dedicated my career to cancer research for the last 6 years. It is my passion, and stories like these motivate me to study this disease and contribute to the development of innovative therapeutics to help cancer patients worldwide. Please join me in the fight against cancer right here in Boston. The Cancer Center at BIDMC is not only treating cancer patients, but is also a major teaching hospital and research institution. When you give to the Cancer Center, your generous gift is directly in support of understanding cancer biology, discovering unique treatments, and improving cancer patients’ lives. Now that’s something worth running for!
Remember to submit donations to your employers as part of any donation matching programs. Info for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center listed below and feel free to let me know of any questions!
Organization Name: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Address: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Ave (OV), Boston, MA 02215
Tax ID: 04-2103881