Last year I completed my 26th Boston Marathon on my new left knee. It was a long day but I felt great and had lots of fun. Because of your generosity, I raised over $80,000. Our MassGeneral Marathon Team "Fighting Kid's Cancer... One Step at a Time" has raised over 13 million dollars since our inaugural year in 1998. All of the money we raise is vital to supporting our mission to increase the cure rates and quality of life for children with cancer. I do think about ending my days of Marathon running but I am not ready to hang up my running shoes because we have not reached our goal of curing 100% of children with cancer. My orthopedic surgeon does remind me to be conservative with training to minimize the impact on my new knee!
Each year I dedicate my marathon run to one of my new patients. Last year I ran for Nathan. Nathan is a 14 year old who just finished his first year of chemotherapy for his lymphoma. He is looking great and knows some awesome magic tricks. School is going well and Nathan is getting back to sports.
This year I will be running in honor of Joseph who is 5 years old and was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He is doing very well and always greets me with a big smile and a funny name. Joseph is now well enough to return to pre-school.
Last year I allocated a portion of my fundraising to support the development of a childhood cancer program at a public hospital in Mbarara, Uganda. I am happy to report that a new pediatric oncology ward and clinic opened this past May thanks in part to your help. We are currently using donations to support the training of nurses in the care of children with cancer. In addition, some of the money is being used to purchase essential chemotherapy and food. I continue to be very optimistic that these efforts will help improve the lives of Ugandan children suffering from cancer.
Thank you for your very loyal support and confidence in our work. Each and every one of our patients and families are very grateful for your help. You can sponsor me online or make a check payable to the MassGeneral Hospital and mail it to me at: Pedi. Hem.-Onc. - MassGeneral Hospital for Children - 55 Fruit St. - Yawkey 8B - Boston, MA 02114. Best wishes and I hope to see you at Mile 20 on April 16, 2018.
Best regards, Howard