BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
Dear Friends and Family:
This year of my 40th birthday I am running the Boston Marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer programs and research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Why am I slogging through the cold, snowy streets of Boston to train when I could be home warm and cozy with my family? There are three reasons: from the past, the present and the future.
First, I am running in memory of my father, Jim Hazen, who died of cancer at the age of 48 after a difficult two year battle. My father was an avid athlete and runner with a strong competitive drive. The moments when I felt closest to him as a kid were often when we were playing sports together. I have great memories of tagging along with him for runs around the neighborhood and at the track at Coventry High School where I would try not to let him lap me too many times. Cancer took my father’s life a few months shy of my high school graduation. Though he hasn’t been able to witness the big milestones in my life- my education and career and more importantly my wedding and the birth of my two sons- his spirit has stayed with me and been a shaping influence throughout my life. My eldest son James is named after him. I run to honor my father’s spirit and memory as well as those of so many others who have been lost to cancer in the prime of their lives.
The second reason I run is for the remarkable kids, families, doctors, nurses, child life specialists and others that I have the honor to work with at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children. I am a child psychiatrist who specializes in helping kids who have serious medical illnesses, many of whom suffer from serious emotional difficulties related to their illness. In my work, I am inspired by the bravery and resilience of the kids I work with, the depths of love and devotion I see in their families, and the dedication and commitment of the medical staff. The funds raised by me and my Mass General Team will go in part toward programs, such as art and music therapy, that make a huge impact on kids’ lives. Such programs are usually not funded by insurance, but they can be a tremendous help to children and their families coping with cancer and the stresses of its treatment.
Finally, those funds that do not go to supporting clinical programs will go toward supporting cutting edge cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital. I hope that by running I will make my own small contribution to the development of better, more effective treatments for cancer to give future generations a better chance at life.
Please consider joining my team and supporting my run to raise funding for the Pediatric Oncology Service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Every donation counts toward helping these kids and the wonderful people who work with them, and means a lot to me personally as well. As I run, the knowledge that I have your support will feel like the wind at my back.