BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
Mileage Tracker: 301
Why am I running the 2015 Boston Marathon with the Mass General Marathon Team...Fighting Kids’ Cancer One Step at a Time....?
- Because they saved the life of a family friend when he was just 4 years old.
- Because they are one of only nine cancer treatment centers in the US that have the proton beam technology that saved Michael.
- Because I don’t know the first thing about treatment for kids with cancer but 1) I can run and 2) I can raise money to support those who provide cutting-edge, compassionate, life-saving treatment. Funds raised are directed to cancer care and research initiatives that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients.
I am honored to have the privilege of being one of the 100 runners raising spirits and funds for the MGH Pediatric Cancer team. You can join us too, and you don’t even have to be able to run (though running buddies are always welcome)! Please consider donating to honor Michael’s own marathon journey and to help MGH save more kids!
In 2000, Jan, my babysitter since I was 5 years old, gave birth to Michael.
Fast forward to 2004: Michael is now 4 years old. One spring morning, Jan is at the grocery store with Michael when he gets sick. Jan instantly knows that something is wrong and rushes him to Mass General, where he has been receiving care since Jan found out she was pregnant with him. It is at MGH that Michael is diagnosed with an ATRT brain tumor, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. ATRTs respond best to radiation but doctors are reluctant to radiate kids under 3 years old because of the side effects of radiation so 2-year survival rates for kids with ATRT are dismal.
Fortunately for Michael, he was being treated at the original proton therapy center. When it opened in 2001, it was the only treatment facility of its kind, allowing doctors to use highly targeted proton beam radiation to destroy individual cancer cells while preserving surrounding healthy tissue, thereby reducing the side effects of cancer treatment. And giving kids like Michael a chance.
The treatment wasn’t easy, but it was possible, thanks to the team at MGHfC. Today, Michael is a healthy 15 year old. Those of you at my wedding likely remember seeing him on the dance floor and for those of you who weren’t there, please enjoy the photos on the left from the wedding photobooth. Other photos: Michael and me just after he finished treatment, Michael and me at his 5 year survivorship celebration dinner, Michael celebrating 10 years of survivorship, and Tchad and me after we ran the Houston Half Marathon.
Thank you for your support!