Hi! I'm Alessa Colaianni, one of the chief residents in Otolaryngology (ENT) at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School. I am thrilled to be running the 2020 Boston Marathon on behalf of Team Eye and Ear!
It's my last year here in Boston (I'm moving to Nashville when I graduate in June to pursue fellowship training in head and neck surgical oncology), and I've always wanted to run the marathon in the city that taught me how to be a doctor.
In particular, I want to run this year in honor of two patients whose stories have had an incredible impact on me. I am grateful for their families' permission to share their stories.
Nancy Hofferty was a real force of nature. Her good humor and strength in the face of a tough illness were truly inspiring to me - while in the hospital, she nicknamed every member of her medical team as a character from Gray's Anatomy, which I wrote an essay about here. I will treasure the memories of sitting with her at three in the morning on call, paging through books of photos of her amazing family.
I met Chris O'Halloran and his wife Kara early one morning on call. They both taught me so much about communicating in an emergency, and about the trust that patients place in their surgeons. Chris battled cancer four times throughout his life, and maintained a sense of humor and dignity that I found truly remarkable. I wrote an essay about meeting Chris here.
Please support my efforts to raise more than $10,000 this year in support of the Department of Otolaryngology, to go towards the care of patients with head and neck cancer at MEE, in the Department of Otolaryngology.
Learn more at MassEyeAndEar.org