At Thanksgiving 2018, weeks after I was accepted to this year's MGH Pediatric Cancer team, my selfless, sincere, adventure-loving mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Twenty years ago, I lost my dad to lung cancer.
My sister, Tess, and I were 14 and 15 then. Today, at 34 and 36, the Stage IV cancer diagnosis of a cherished parent is just as gut wrenching.
It’s impossible to adequately explain the hearbreak my family feels. I've relocated temporarily to South Dakota with Tess to care for our mom. In these months, I leave her side only to run. Every mile of this training plan, every day, is a tribute to her.
My mom crisscrossed the country to cheer me on in nearly every marathon I've run. Her first trip to New York was for my very first marathon, in 2009. She was just as shocked as I was that I qualified there for the prestigious Boston Marathon, with time to spare no less! She and Tess were picking me up at the finish line in 2013 when the marathon bombing rocked us all. And in 2018, when I finished the race in a nor'easter that grounded planes, she was the one who suggested hot soup in travel mugs along the way in an attempt to stave off the hypothermia that many suffered from that day.
There's no way to know if she'll be there this year, in her spot, cheering next to Tess. But with your support, I can race in her name and in the names of countless others who have lost loved ones to cancer.
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock, the Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time has raised over $14 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 patients. This year, my 100-person team is committed to raising over $1 million.
My personal goal is to raise $10,000, not just to race one more time for my mom, but to know that together, as a team, we’re working to fight this horrific disease.
Please consider making a donation - to support this most noble cause, and in honor of a family so deeply affected by cancer.