May 6th, 2016, is the day that I lost one of the most influential people in my life to a brain tumor, my grandfather Bob Metz. He was the ultimate family man, a veteran, an iconic husband, father and grandfather, a pillar of strength and integrity, and my role model. My grandfather encompassed everything that I hope to be, and I miss him every day.
During his illness, my grandfather, in true form, always put on a brave face around family. My grandpa always put the needs of others before his own. Whether it was his wife, children, grandchildren, or country, he was the embodiment of selflessness. He pushed us all to be the best version of ourselves, just as he was even during his fight with Cancer. Now, in his honor, I am running the Boston Marathon.
I am running for Team Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, raising money for the Cancer Center. The support my grandfather received during his treatment from a dedicated team of doctors prolonged his numbered days and allowed us to say goodbye. I hope to see the day when Cancer loses the battle, rather than our loved ones.
Every time I hear the national anthem, I think of my grandpa. Every Veterans Day, every time I go fishing, eat pumpkin pie, go for a run, or do any of his favorite things, I am reminded of him and wish that he were here.
Family and Friends, please consider donating to this cause and supporting me on this journey. I will be keeping a log of my runs, providing updates on my progress, so please feel free to follow along.
Team BIDMC is running to support a variety of programs, including the Cancer Center, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Klarman Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Annual Fund, kidney disease research, and Bowdoin Street Health Center's Healthy Champions Program. Several of our runners are also supporting our Needham, Milton, and Plymouth affiliates. Thank you for your support!
At the BIDMC Cancer Center, gifted physicians, outstanding nurses, and dedicated staff form a team that is committed to breakthrough treatments delivered with kindness and respect. Researchers have made several discoveries that have led to greater understanding of cancer mechanisms resulting in improved and innovative cancer care. And because we have always understood the physical and emotional toll of a cancer diagnosis, our specialists take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and develop unique support systems.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Clinicians within our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology deliver approximately 5,000 babies every year. The department has become a national, award-winning leader in the movement to improve health care quality and safety, pioneering a groundbreaking "team training" approach to reducing medical errors—a methodology based on safety principles from the military, commercial aviation, and other industries.
The Klarman Family Neonatal lntensive Care Unit (NICU)
Each year, approximately one in eight babies in the United States is born prematurely, which has a profound impact on newborns and their families. These vulnerable babies often present with complex medical needs, ranging from severe breathing trouble to underdeveloped organs, and require specialized care to give them a healthy start. The NICU provides state-of-the-art, family-centered care for about 1,000 high-risk newborns and their families each year.
The Annual Fund provides flexible funding to advance the priorities and projects that support our mission of providing unparalleled care for all of our patients, teaching the next generation of physicians, and finding cures for the most devastating diseases of our time.
Kidney Disease Research
Martin R. Pollak, M.D., and his team have identified a reason for the high rate of kidney disease in people of African descent and are actively working to alleviate this epidemic. Dr. Pollak and his team found that two common genetic variations in a gene called APOL1 are responsible for African Americans' greatly increased susceptibility to kidney disease—variations that likely become common because they protect against African sleeping sickness.
Bowdoin Street's Healthy Champions Program
The Healthy Champions Program is an anti-obesity, education, fitness, and community-building initiative serving children in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. Participants, or Healthy Champions, learn about the importance of healthy nutrition, food preparation, food access in their neighborhood, and fitness and healthy lifestyles. Perhaps most importantly, Healthy Champions serve as "ambassadors of health" to their families and peers in the community, sharing their knowledge about health and wellness while developing a sense of confidence in their ability to effect healthy changes in themselves and in the wider community.