Patricia Kolias via Crowdrise
February 12, 2012
BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2012 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 16, 2012
At first I wanted to run the Boston marathon purely for personal accomplishment, but that all changed dramatically when I met a wonderful boy named Shane King who is a member of my son's taekwondo school. After learning about Shane's story and the MGH pediatric hematology-oncology program I realized the money we raise to help find a cure is the real accomplishment. I am honored to have Shane as my patient partner, he gives me strength whenever my training gets tough. Here is his story as told by his mother, Julie...
In December 2006 our 6 month old son, Shane was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, aggressive soft tissue cell sarcoma. Until virus-like symptoms occurred (vomiting, unusual fussiness), Shaney showed no signs of the large tumor growing in his bladder. Shaney's was treated by several specialists at MGH who worked together as a team to provide the best care possible. They also partnered with their counterparts at Dana Farber to ensure his treatment plan would provide the best shot at a favorable outcome with the least unfavorable side effects. His treatment included 43 weeks of chemo, a 8+ hour bladder sparing tumor resection surgery, and 23 days of proton radiation. Throughout his treatment the staff at MGH not only provided expert care for Shane, but support for the whole family, including many sibling recognition efforts for Shaney's older brother Casey.
Today Shaney is a thriving 5 year old. He attends school at Ambrose w/Casey and enjoys participating in sports: Taekwondo, Swimming, Football, Soccer, Baseball, Skating, Skiing, Biking, Hiking, pretty much whatever sport is in season. He does suffer side effects (frequent GI, bladder, and bowel discomforts) and requires continuing follow-up care, but they never stop Shaney from anything he is determined to achieve.
We are very thankful for MGH and all that they have done for us since our initiation into the devastating world of childhood cancer. We have pledged to give back in some way every year. I have run the Boston marathon for MGH twice (2008 and 2011), Bill completed a 150 mile bike tour from Vancouver to Seattle in 2010 in support of childhood cancer, and the years in between we have supported other MGH marathoners and/or participated as a family in MGH Four Seasons Run of Hope. This year we are honored to have a friend in our Winchester/Taekwondo community run for Shane. Thank you for supporting Patty and her efforts to complete her first marathon. Thank you for supporting a great cause.
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.