John Feloni via Crowdrise
April 04, 2012
BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2012 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 16, 2012
JOHN FELONI WROTE:
This is my fourth Boston Marathon on the Mass General Marathon Team. I ran in 1998, 2001 and 2009. In 2009 I ran in honor of Erik West, a 16 year old who had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The photo I have on this page is Erik hugging me on mile 20. He had just had chemotherapy, was cold and weak and his mother wanted to get him home, but he wouldn't go. He was worried about me since it was late in the day, I was 50 years old, not a runner and did minimal training because of injuries. He thought I might have collapsed or whatever and was very concerned.. But he also believed in me. He really did. Well, I finally made it to where he was.Our eyes met, his face glowed, and he jumped off the curb and ran out to me. He hugged me hard and said he was glad to see I was OK. What a soul! What an exceptional human being! He became my hero.
Well...Erik passed away last May and I am running in his memory and rasing money for children's cancer at the Mass General Hospital in his name. I ask that you support this cause with whatever you can. It is such a wonderful group of people doing extraordinary work for children with cancer and their families. And the doctor that runs it, Dr. Weinstein, is just a truly remarkable person...one of the finest people I have ever met.
Preparing for this Marathon has been very difficult for me. Actually impossible. As a matter of fact I had dropped out of the race because my spine (discs) problems exacerbated to where my left leg goes numb (after about 100 yards)...making it impossible to train.
Three weeks ago I got an MRI and an Electromygraphy to see the extent of the damage. I have 3 herniated discs and a nerve that is being pinched causing my left leg to go numb and floppy.
BUT I HAVE TO RUN THIS RACE FOR ERIK AND THE CHILDREN! My problems are a joke compared to what these kids and their families go through.
I AM RUNNING! I am taking a steroid to calm down the pinched nerve issue that is numbing my leg. I will make it across the finish line if I have to crawl and if it takes me 20 hours. Help me support this program for the kids. Please.
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL wrote -
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. Apply to run on the 2012 Mass General Marathon Team today!
The MassGeneral Marathon Team is centered around the Marathon Patient-Partner Program, in which runners are paired with patients undergoing cancer treatment at MGHfC. When our runners set out on Boston’s grueling 26.2-mile course, they not only raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research; they inspire and bring hope to the youngest patients we serve.
Last year, 50 children undergoing treatment were paired with Mass General runners. Some runners take part to support young patients they already know and love while others bond with a courageous child they have never met through the Patient-Partner Program. At an emotional pre-race pasta party and ceremony on the night preceding the marathon, runners presented a medal of honor to their patient-partner. It symbolizes a shared personal commitment in the fight against pediatric cancer, and represents all the hope we have that our efforts at Mass General will lead to a cure for this devastating disease.
The Child-Life Program
The Child-Life Program within the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at MGHfC benefits every year from the funds raised by the Marathon Team. The program utilizes therapeutic play — including music and art therapy, massage and acupuncture — 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, an indication of the growing popularity of the programming, the recognition of its importance and the program’s ability to continue to expand its offerings — thanks in large part to philanthropic dollars.
Learn more about the causes we support and the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MGHfC at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children web site.