I have dreamed about running the Boston Marathon for the Massachusetts General Hospital Fighting Kids Cancer One Step At A Time Team for as long as I can remember. The Boston Marathon has always been very special to my family ever since my oldest sister Lindsey was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Lindsey was just ten years old when she was diagnosed at Massachusetts General Hospital on April 18th, 1998. The day after she was diagnosed it was the 102nd running of the Boston Marathon and her doctor at MGH, Howard Weinstein ran in honor of all of his young patients battling cancer. On Marathon Monday in 1998, my dad made a promise to Lindsey that she was going to fight cancer and he was going to train for the marathon and they would cross the finish line together.
Although I was only a year old at the time, the moment my dad made that promise changed my life. The Boston Marathon has always been a sign of hope and strength. I have grown up watching my dad, my three sisters: Lindsey, Christine and Colleen, other family members and friends run in honor of not only Lindsey, but all of the superhero patients who are so lucky to receive care at MGH.
Lindsey underwent an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy to shrink her tumor that had taken over her left side and had surgery to remove the tumor, along with five of her ribs. Thanks to the outstanding care she received at MGH and her determination to beat this sickness, Lindsey has been cancer free for 21 years and her positive outlook on life continues to shine.
Lindsey was continuously optimistic throughout her treatment and even on the toughest days she always had a smile on her face. When she lost her hair she wore a Life is Good hat, which reminded her everyday that “Life is good; no matter what”. Lindsey truly embodied the phrase Life is Good and her extraordinary outlook transformed my life. I had the opportunity to work at Life is Good for two summers and I was once again empowered by my sister; as Life is Good used her unwavering optimism as fuel to spread joy and the power of a positive attitude to others facing challenges in their life.
Lindsey has always been my biggest inspiration and role model. Growing up, I wanted to be just like her. Her positive outlook on life is truly incredible and she continues to inspire me as she constantly challenges herself.
It is finally my turn! I am proud to say I will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon with the Mass General Hospital Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer…One Step at a Time. I am so excited to be able to carry on this family tradition! I have been anxiously awaiting my turn to represent MGH on Marathon Monday and do my part to support the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MassGeneral Hospital.
I have been cheering on and high fiving runners for so many years and I am so excited for my journey to cross the finish line. This team has been extremely impactful in raising money in order to provide the best treatment possible for pediatric cancer patients and my family was very fortunate that Lindsey received outstanding care at MGH. I want to do my part in giving back to the hospital that saved my sister's life and help other children just like her who are still fighting for their lives. I hope you will join me in the fight against childhood cancer by donating to this incredible cause and help MGH provide the best cancer care and research initiatives for children in need. Thank you for your support!
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.