I’m excited to share after supporting the Lazarus House in 2019, I’m taking on the challenge again this year running the 2020 Boston Marathon supporting Mass General Hospital Pediatric Cancer research for two reasons: Mom and Dad.
Mom has been a MGH nurse for over 35 years, currently serving the clinical trial Multiple Myeloma team. Growing up I've come to understand how amazing Mass General is, the support they provide, and the impact they have. In March of last year, just before running the 2019 marathon, Mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer. In the weeks and months to follow, I have and continue to learn first-hand what I've known my entire life: Mass General changes lives and provides support like you wouldn't believe (until you have to experience it first hand).
One month after Mom’s diagnosis, Dad was diagnosed with skin cancer. At this point, we knew the drill. Fortunately for us, MGH was there every step of the way. Over the coming weeks, we learned our new normal for appointment days - Nicole (my sister) takes mom - and I take dad. We were blessed to be working with thoughtful physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and support staff that helped us coordinate treatments and check ins to the same day almost every time. Together, we’ve been running at this for close to a year with five surgeries, dozens of appointments, treatments, labs, and check-ins.
When you’re in the midst of learning your new normal, you don’t realize how many support pillars MGH offers and how much they help until you have a chance to catch your breath. I’ve recently reflected upon how much MGH has made this process better for our family...compelling me more than ever to run for MGH - trying to pay forward an ounce of what they’ve given us.
The support from Mass General has consistently guided us, empowered us to make the best decisions, instilled us with confidence and comforted us regarding our strategies and options, and always offered a hug & smile on the way in and out. My goal is to enable MGH to make this battle easier for the next family but we need your support. Helping to spread the word or making a donation to help will give me fuel through all 26.2 miles!
P.S. Both Mom and Dad have stabilized and are on the road to recovery!
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock, the Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time has raised over $15.5 million to support the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Funds raised are directed to cancer care, research, and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients.
Thanks in large part to the philanthropic dollars raised by this Marathon Team, 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.
MGHfC is also focused on the quality of life of its young patients and their families through the child life program, which utilizes therapeutic play - music and art therapy to help pediatric cancer patients and their families cope emotionally and developmentally with their illnesses.
Each year more patients than ever before are referred to us because we continue to be leaders in transforming cancer care for children.
We are grateful for the hard work of all of our runners and the dedication of their family and friends, as they embark on fundraising and training for the historic 26.2 mile race.