May 19, 2017
BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock, the Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer, One Step at a Time has raised over $12 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 this Marathon Team, 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.
Personally, MGH has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was 4 years old, my favorite aunt passed away from breast cancer after battling for nearly a decade with MGH’s help. When I was in 8th grade, a classmate and friend of mine passed away from very rare form of bile duct cancer, and I remember visiting him many times at MGH while he and his family fought.
When my father was diagnosed with throat cancer the summer going into my senior year of college, my family and I decided we would make the drive into the city to get MGH’s care for him. Thank GOD we did – because my dad made it, and this past October marked 8 years since his cancer went into remission – all thanks to MGH’s dedicated staff who treated him (Side note: my father’s cancer is also the reason I started running. It gave me the opportunity to “run” from the stress and pain of watching him go through his treatment, and I used to pretend I was stomping the malignant cells out of his body with every running step I took!).
Who would have thought that the man I ended up marrying, who is a childhood cancer survivor himself, would have many of his doctors still at MGH too. When we decided to start a family, we knew we would need fertility treatment, and there was no doubt in either of our minds that MGH would be our fertility clinic. April 2017, when I run the Boston Marathon, will mark 1 year since we were blessed with our beautiful daughter’s arrival.
Now that I have a daughter, the Boston Marathon is the top item on my “bucket list”. For me, running has been my safe haven – my escape from stress and the best way to clear my head. None of the pain experienced during training will even come close to the physical and emotional pain patients of the pediatric oncology unit endure. I want to run to support a hospital that I believe in wholeheartedly and, quite frankly, owe two of the most important lives in my life to: my father and my daughter.
Please help support me and MGH!