Boston Strong 2017
April 21, 2017
I am honored to accept a second invitation to run the Boston Marathon, April 17, 2017, and support Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an Official Charity of the Boston Athletic Association. Specifically I will be running to support BIDMC Kidney Disease Research.
Kidney disease is a highly morbid condition that dramatically reduces both the quality of life and a person's lifespan. It is also five times more likely to affect African Americans than other groups of people, and the team is actively working to alleviate this epidemic. Alterations in a gene called APOL1 explain most of this high rate of kidney disease. This is a major public health problem and this research area, which may lead to major advances in treatment, comes from work here at BIDMC. Dialysis is not a cure for kidney failure. Fewer than 40 percent of dialysis patients live more than five years. Rates of kidney failure are increasing and the cost to treat those patients continues to rise each year. Over 40 billion dollars is spent each year to provide care to those with end-stage kidney failure.
As many of you know, I work in research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and I know first-hand how research can change lives. Research is an important step in discovering new treatments as well as increasing ways to detect, diagnose and reduce risk of disease. I personally know many people that suffer with kidney disease both friends and family. This makes running to support kidney disease all the more special for me.
Your donation today can help the Renal Division Research Team as they use their findings to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease. They plan to develop a multifaceted approach to solving this problem that will be highly visible and have a large impact on the lives of individuals and their families.
Please visit my fundraising page, https://www.crowdrise.com/bidmcboston2017/fundraiser/jennifersabbagh to make a gift to BIDMC’s Nephrology Division in honor of my run. Checks may also be made payable to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center or BIDMC with “Sabbagh / Boston Marathon 2016” in the memo line and mailed to the following address: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.
Every year I head to the finish line of the marathon to cheer on friends and strangers who are brave enough to put their bodies through this grueling event. I love to scream someone's name, hope to provide encouragement and see them smile. As a runner I know how important that is when you want to give up. But I honestly couldn’t imagine how the crowd truly carries you through this event. Last year I hit a major wall as I turned onto Beacon Street around mile 23. Mile 23!!!! I was almost there but I stopped. I searched in the crowd for some support and that is exactly what I got. The spectators pushed me and got me to the end.
I have a history of guillain-barré syndrome and neuro-sarcoidosis which simply stated are immunological disorders that attacked my nervous system. I'm grateful to able to run and run the long distances which has become therapy for me. Granted I could find another way that is easier on my body but for those who know me well, know that I don’t set out to conquer anything easy. I was so moved by my experience running Boston in 2016 that I signed up for the Chicago Marathon which I was able to complete on 10/9/16. Running 26.2 is a way for me to raise funds and I hope I can count on you. I am truly blessed to run with team BIDMC again and some of my very close friends.
Thank you for your support and donation.