My path to the MGH Marathon Team was a long and unexpected one. My lovely wife, Ginger, was a patient for several years at MGH, and we made frequent trips to the Yawkey Cancer Center. In May of last year she passed away from ovarian cancer. During our time at MGH the care that we received under Dr. Carolyn Krasner and NP Maria Roche was just amazing, and Ginger wanted to give something back. She also wanted to do all she could to help future patients fight this disease. We decided to establish a scholarship to help nurses in the cancer center who are taking graduate courses to become nurse practitioners. The Ginger Sutherland Davis Nursing Endowed Scholarship is now a reality. Kelly McLean Clark of the MGH Development Center worked with me to help make Ginger’s vision come true. Back in July, Kelly and I had lunch to discuss various options, and when we were finished, we somehow got talking about running. She asked me if I had heard of the MGH Marathon Team…. I had not. Thanks to this chance conversation, I am privileged to be on the team. I am deeply honored to be a Patient Partner with Stephen who is 11 years old and being treated for leukemia. My goal is to raise $10,000 to support the MHG Pediatric Oncology Department. I will also be running in memory of Ginger. The attached photo is of Ginger and me at Christmas time 2010.
See a description of the MGH Team and the Patient Partner Program below.
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL wrote -
About the Marathon Team
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock Financial, the Mass General Marathon Team has raised over $6.7 million to support the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Funds raised are directed to cancer care and research initiatives that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients. Apply to run on the 2012 Mass General Marathon Team today!
The MassGeneral Marathon Team is centered around the Marathon Patient-Partner Program, in which runners are paired with patients undergoing cancer treatment at MGHfC. When our runners set out on Boston’s grueling 26.2-mile course, they not only raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research; they inspire and bring hope to the youngest patients we serve.
Last year, 50 children undergoing treatment were paired with Mass General runners. Some runners take part to support young patients they already know and love while others bond with a courageous child they have never met through the Patient-Partner Program. At an emotional pre-race pasta party and ceremony on the night preceding the marathon, runners presented a medal of honor to their patient-partner. It symbolizes a shared personal commitment in the fight against pediatric cancer, and represents all the hope we have that our efforts at Mass General will lead to a cure for this devastating disease.
The Child-Life Program
The Child-Life Program within the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at MGHfC benefits every year from the funds raised by the Marathon Team. The program utilizes therapeutic play — including music and art therapy, massage and acupuncture — 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, an indication of the growing popularity of the programming, the recognition of its importance and the program’s ability to continue to expand its offerings — thanks in large part to philanthropic dollars.
Learn more about the causes we support and the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MGHfC at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children web site.