I am so proud to be running my first marathon with the MGH Pedi Hem/Onc Clinic team for my favorite patient, my son Henry. I vividly recall the thought on my mind as I walked into the clinic for the first time. "I don't want to be here!" was screaming on repeat in my head. Someone offered me a hug which I declined because I did not want anything to do with that place. Henry had just had an ultrasound which showed enlarged kidneys and multiple tumors in his abdomen. We were sent directly to MGH without time to process what was happening. A few short hours later, we were admitted, diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma and Henry was hooked up to tubes that were administering medicines to prepare his body for chemotherapy. It was fast and furious. I remember seeing a certain doctor sitting at the nurse's station well past 11 making sure that Henry's treatment began as soon as was humanly possible. What he knew, better than I at that time, was the aggressive nature of Henry's cancer and the critical nature of Henry's condition. I don't know what was going on in his world outside of MGH at that time, but I do know that when we walked through the door, we became the most important thing in the world. That is how pediatric cancer treatment should be everywhere.
Henry battled hard all summer with hardly a complaint. I was so proud of the way he faced each day. When I heard that there was a marathon team I decided in an instant that I would run with them. I've never run a complete marathon before and after running a half marathon I was sure I never would. But when you sit next to your child enduring chemotherapy you search for ways to help your child fight. Each training mile I run, I run for him. And when I cross the finish line, it too, will be for him.