BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
I’m honored to once again be a member of The Mass General Marathon Team, Fighting Kids' Cancer…One Step at a Time and will be running the 119th Boston Marathon on April 20th. I’m running in both memory and honor of one of the most amazing and inspirational people I’ve ever met, my friend Matthew “Swirls” Cirelli.
Swirls Around The World Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/swirlsstrong?ref=stream
This Facebook page is dedicated to Matt "Swirls" Cirelli to celebrate his life. The pictures posted here are reminders that he is with us everywhere we go. Remember in your travels to always leave a Swirls bracelet behind. Please send pictures to Jen Caruso (email@example.com) with a short description.
I met Matthew in 2013 through the MGH Patient Partner Program which pairs patients who are receiving or have received treatment with runners prior to Marathon Day so they are able to develop a special relationship and draw strength and inspiration from one another. Little did I know how much of a life changing experience meeting and becoming friends with Matthew and his family would be.
Matthew was diagnosed with Ewing’s Cell Sarcoma in the Fall of 2011. Over the next two years he underwent multiple surgeries, skin grafts, radiation and chemotherapy, along with multiple extended hospital stays. When I met him in 2013 it was a time of celebration because he was deemed cancer free. The tumor returned over the summer, but Matthew beat it once again. The relentless disease returned in the Fall and spread to his lungs before being detected. Matthew lost his physical battle with cancer in December of 2013, but his spirit and impact on the world lives on today.
Matthew taught me what strength, courage, and perseverance really means through his actions not solely by words. Matthew was kind, polite, respectful, appreciative, and conveyed an upbeat and positive attitude making sure he lived every second of every day by his mantra: Family, Friends, and Faith. Matthew continues to live on making our world a better place because we will all embrace and embody his attributes and teach them to our friends and family, even strangers, by telling his story and living by his example, thus keeping his spirit alive.
We are Swirls Strong!
About Mass General Hospital
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock, the Mass General Marathon Team...Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time...has raised over $10 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.
Thanks in large part to the philanthropic dollars raised by the Mass General Marathon Team...Fighting Kids’ Cancer One Step at a Time.... MGHfC is advancing cutting-edge research, increasing the number of clinical studies to improve cure rates, and providing the best treatment possible to pediatric cancer patients. MGHfC is also focused on the quality of life of its young patients and their families through the child life program, which utilizes therapeutic play - music and art therapy 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, which indicates the growing popularity of the programming, the recognition of its importance, and the program’s ability to continue to expand its offerings.
We are grateful for the hard work of all of our runners and the dedication of their family and friends, as they embark on fundraising and training for the historic 26.2 mile. Mass General and Boston...Together We Finish!