Becky Bonenfant via Crowdrise
January 18, 2012
BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2012 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 16, 2012
I'm officially running the Boston Marathon this April in memory of Lisa Isabelle. My first ever 26.2 mile race. My goal is to raise $5,000.00 in her memory to benefit the pediatric oncology programs at Mass General Hospital in Boston. It is a very lofty goal but I believe all the work I am putting into training and fundraising is nothing compared to all that Lisa's family and friends have been through and every single life touched by cancer. These funds can bring real change to this disease and a sincere effort to never have that pain exist in this world.
Lisa Isabelle was a relative of my husband's and I only knew her through Facebook as is often the foundation of out of town relatives and friends these days. Everyone has a Lisa in your life as your Facebook friend. The friend who is always posting thoughts, quotes, and updates while also freely flowing thoughts about what those connected to her had to say. You couldn’t post a picture without Lisa’s “like” or comment going up. I loved it. I immediately sent a note to my mother-in-law the day I received the Facebook friend request from Lisa. “I’m a part of the family now! Lisa is my friend!” I said excitedly and really meant it. Banter over what comments Lisa left was a routine conversation piece and it really made me feel welcome that she wanted me to be a part of her world even though she never had met me. One post a few months back was not so cheerful when she shared that she was diagnosed with highly advanced cancer and was stage 4B. I was so shocked, I didn't even know she was sick. There was little that they could do and every test and appointment came back with worse news. She had to undergo surgeries such as a Radical Hysterectomy. Lisa admitted to being brave but scared. She posted a different picture daily of herself with a loved one and encouraged everyone to treasure time they had together. A reminder to everyone how short time together really is. She had been living in South Carolina for a few years but hastily planned a very packed trip back to her home state here in Massachusetts. Everyone knew that it was a trip to say good-bye but in staying positive Lisa referred to it as a vacation and called it a “Time to Remember.” She made it here but never saw her trip to completion as she entered the hospital here in MA part way through her journey. She passed away June 11, 2011.
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.