“Kind”, “positive”, “upbeat”, “inspirational”, “a bright light to all who knew her”: these are just some terms that family, friends, and community members used to describe my grandmother at her four hour service which was packed with people from our community, countless friends, and many family members.
My grandmother, (or as I called her, Ma), passed away unexpectedly from Pancreatic Cancer in 2008, at the age of 52. She didn’t have a chance to battle and our family didn’t get a chance to cope with knowing she had a deadly disease. We found out she had cancer three days after her passing. This was the first time cancer had ever touched my life and had taken someone from me. It served as a reality check that life can change unexpectedly and in an instant.
My grandmother deserved a much better life than the one that was handed to her. She was a healthy, active woman who loved life. She loved children, ran a Spanish Immersion family home daycare, was an active community member in Palo Alto and at our church. She radiated poise and elegance. She made me feel loved beyond measure and I consider her the most influential person of my childhood. My grandmother was my best friend — we did everything together; cooked, read, scrapbooked, and we even trained and ran two half marathons together. She inspired me to do what I love, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am if it wasn’t for her.
While my grandmother wasn't a children, I want to run for her and for all those who fought before her. I want to run for the kids who will unfortunately be touched by cancer and for all the mothers who’ve lost their children to this disease.
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL wrote:
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock, the Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time has raised over $13 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.
This year, more patients than ever before utilized Child-Life services, which indicates the growing popularity of the programming, the recognition of its importance, and the program’s ability to continue to expand its offerings.
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.