I’m back for 2020!! Crossing the finish line at last year’s Boston Marathon was easily one of the greatest and most rewarding moments of my life. The legendary Boston Marathon course was every bit the challenge that seasoned veterans had warned me about, but I still managed to finish with a big smile on my face. In the hours after I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t sure I had another marathon in me; but, by the next morning, I already knew I’d be back. So, on April 20, 2020, I will be lacing up my sneakers again for my second Boston Marathon with Mass General’s Marathon Team for Pediatric Cancer.
Running a marathon (especially one that is infamous for its hills, like Boston) is an enormous challenge, but it pales in comparison to the challenge that cancer patients face every day. We all have family members and loved ones who have battled cancer, and my family is no exception. When I was only 9-years-old, I lost my grandfather to cancer. That was my first exposure to the disease, although I was too young to know what cancer was at the time. In the years that followed, I lost more family and friends to cancer, including several aunts and cousins, a 19-year-old childhood friend, a college roommate, and two work colleagues.
Fortunately, for as many people as I have lost, I can say that I know even more cancer survivors. Most of us will never know what it is like to bear the unimaginable burden of having a child with cancer, but, for many families, this is their reality. Massachusetts General Hospital is one of the highest-rated hospitals in the country, and is consistently a leader in cancer care. The funds raised by this team will go to cancer research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, as well as quality of life programs for pediatric cancer patients. I’m so proud to be running with MGH for this reason. As many of you know, I lived in Boston for most of my life, and will always consider it home. I look to forward to the thrill of once again running toward the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, where I spent so much time as an undergrad at Boston University. Please consider making a donation to MGH and becoming a part of this incredible lifesaving research. I’m grateful for every donation, no matter the size, and I thank you for your support of MGH’s important work on behalf of its youngest patients!
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.