On January 15, 2019 I was diagnosed with cancer and admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The following day, I was introduced to Dr. Jon Arnason and my hemotology team that would be helping me throughout my journey. After nine days at BIDMC I was informed that I had stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and began my first round of high dose chemotherapy. Throughout the next 5 months I spent countless hours at BIDMC, more specifically the hematology/bone marrow transplant floor where I grew very close with my team of Dr. Arnason, Jamie Mortellite and Kelli Pertler.
The Boston marathon has always been on my to-do list, it is one of the most prestigious marathons due to its history and difficulty. Last year, two days before my 5th round of chemo, I sat at the finish line waiting for multiple friends to finish. This year, I received the opportunity from BIDMC to run the Boston marathon as part of their team. Kelli Pertler, my head nurse, will be running with me. In 6 months, Kelli and I will be departing Hopkinton on our way to Boston for a 26.2 mile run; just 11 months after my final round of chemotherapy.
I am running this marathon to raise money for BIDMC’s Cancer Center, to support the research and staff that saved my life. I have pledged to raise $10,000 for cancer research in hopes that someday we can cure this horrible disease. I consider myself extremely lucky and blessed to be in remission, and I have my team at BIDMC to thank for that.
Thank you for your donation to BIDMC’s Cancer Center and for supporting myself and Kelli as we take on 26.2 miles this April.
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.