January 29, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying the New Year.
For many of us, the New Year marks the changing of the calendar and the hopes of the year to come, but for others it takes on a much more profound meaning. It means the chance to celebrate the small victories day by day, week by week and month by month.
In December 2006, my nephew Liam, at the young age of 5 months, was diagnosed with a rare Rhabdomyosarcoma tumor on his right lung. Against many odds, Liam and his family persevered with grace, courage and the prayers of friends and family. Liam is now 5 years old and has been clear of cancer since February of 2008. The pure will and determination of such a young boy and his family has had a significant impact on my life.
Liam received amazing treatment at Mass General Hospital. The MGH team treated Liam and his family with great care and compassion. On April 16, 2012 I will be running the Boston Marathon in honor of Liam as a member of the Mass General Marathon Team…”Fighting Kids’ Cancer…One Step at a Time.”
I am proud to have the opportunity to run in honor of Liam and the many others that have battled this horrible disease. Any contribution, no matter how big or small, is greatly appreciated and will go a long way “Fighting Kids’ Cancer…One Step at a Time.”
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.