I am very excited to play my part in making a difference by returning to the Mass General Marathon Team, supporting the pediatric hematology-oncology program team, pediatric cancer research and patient care programs at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
I wanted to share the faces and stories behind the people that mean so much to me, and who I am running in honor of this year.
Last year I ran in honor of Cindy Worrell, my best friend's mom who spent over a decade visiting Mass General's Cancer Center. I will be running in her honor again. Cindy was incredibly close with the Captain of our MGH Pediatric Cancer team. Not only does is he lead our marathon team, but he is also Chief of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology program at MGH. He is with us for team runs every single Saturday at Heartbreak Hill.
This year, I will also be running in honor of an immediate family member who just lost his hard-fought battle with brain cancer. The list goes on. I have so many family members and loved ones who have been impacted by cancer.
Last year, I entered the "Patient Partner" match program at MGH . I was matched with the most amazing, resilient girl. Her bravery and positivity inspires me every day, and her smile and humor can truly light up a room. I am excited to go into my second year of this program with her.
I run for the best doctors and teammates in the best city that I am proud to call home. I saw my parents, my Patient Partner and her family with a huge yellow, "Anna Rocks, Go Anna" signs towards the end of last year's marathon. My last mile was my fastest by over a minute. Compared to the struggle these amazing kids and our friends and family have had to go through, running 26.2 miles and training through the winter again will be nothing.
I am humbled by the $1.8million dollars that our Mass General Marathon Team raised last year. THANK YOU to everyone who supported us then, and is supporting us now. Playing my part to help support pediatric cancer programs has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
The funds raised here go directly to the MGHfC and help support clinical and laboratory research in childhood cancer, as well as supportive care programs including wellness services like art and music therapy; parent, teen and sibling support groups; and child life specialists who help patients cope with illness and treatment.
MGHfC is advancing cutting-edge research, increasing the number of clinical studies to improve cure rates, and providing the best treatment possible to pediatric cancer patients.
Thank you for your help in getting us one step closer to a cure. I appreciate every penny more than words can explain. Thank you for your support on this journey!