Looking for some help.
On April 20, 2020, I will be running the Boston Marathon. I am fortunate enough to have been accepted by…..and running it as part of…….the 2020 Mass General Hospital Marathon Team: “Fighting Kids Cancer”…….which is in support of the pediatric hematology oncology program (in other words....in support of MGH programs that help children with cancer).
Why run to raise money for children with cancer? While running Boston…and running Boston as a charity runner…..is a sort of celebration….this……like most things do….comes with a personal story. Which is the tie-in as to why being a member of the MGH team is important to me….and my girls.
Obviously, if we are friends on Facebook then the story is self-evident and I apologize for re-hashing it. However, this is for those who may see this post and do not know our family's story.
This running journey of mine started a little over six and a half years ago [and for the record…in all honesty….no……I do not remotely consider myself a runner]. It started a few months before my wife, Jennifer, the mother of four young and beautiful daughters, was diagnosed with stage 4, multi-focal glioblastoma (brain tumors).
Initially given a diagnosis of less than six months….she…..with her self-proclaimed strong German genes (a little inside joke)….proceeded to battle….bravely, stubbornly, fearlessly and silently……for the next three and a half years. Not once complaining. Not once wallowing in self-pity. Not once allowing the inevitability of her situation to dictate, change or interrupt her role as wife, mother or friend. She carried herself in a manner in which she could lead by example….through strength…...for those who needed it most……me….and our girls.
This, without question, is the primary driver as to why I would chose to run on behalf of children with pediatric cancer. Battling any form of cancer….regardless of age…is an incredibly traumatic experience. It changes everything with respect to personal and family dynamics…in an instant. I know first hand how difficult it was and continues to be for the girls and I. I cannot imagine how more unbearably difficult Jenn’s situation would have been had she been a child…and not a parent.
This is where the team at MGH steps in. What essentially makes it survivable (and I mean this in respect to both the patient as well as their supporting circle) is the team that provides their care. My wife was fortunate to have a wonderful treatment team….and supporting cast. My wife’s treatment team was compassionate, understanding, flexible……and as difficult and heartbreaking as it is…..transparent. My personal gripe about any service-type of industry is that people are treated as numbers.....not as people. Will not sugar coat it….MGH is an institution…..however….not one that has lost focus on the personal relationship aspect…..the humanitarian aspect….of treatment programs.
This will most likely be the last standalone marathon that I ever run. It will coincide with the three-year anniversary of Jenn’s passing. I could have easily found a way to get a bib and run the marathon without any real purpose. I am having a hard time finding purpose in the things I do……however, doing something in memory of Jenn…….while trying to raise awareness of MGH’s pediatric cancer programs……gives me a reason to run this year’s Boston Marathon.
So….as I opened with….I am looking for help. I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider helping me support this cause. Usual rules apply.....there is no pressure or expectation in this request.....and....no amount is too small or insignificant.
If you have made it this far......here is the link if you want to make a donation:
And…as always….the girls and I thank you for your support!