The decision to run the Boston Marthon to raise money for the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation was a deeply personal one. Since I began running 8 years ago, I have secretly dreamed of running Boston. As I tried to build the courage to take it on, I also steadfastly believed that if I was going to do it, I would have to do it in support of a cause that I felt truly passionate about. The Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation embodies so much of what matters to me and what I live for. In the competitive world of trying to get into the Boston Marathon, I only applied to one charity. I only told one person. And I told her, "I feel so deeply connected to this cause, whether or not I get accepted is true fate." And they chose me.
As a nurse on the cardiac floor of Boston Children's Hospital, I've cared for countless children withheart defects, including Joseph and his brother, Jack. Joseph and Jack share the same diagnosis, giving the Cardiovascular Program at Children's the privilege of caring for them both. One of the most painful days of my many years of nursing was the day I cared for 1-month-old Jack, the day after Joseph suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. The heartache filling the family, the staff, the entire environment, was stunning and indescribable. Looking at Joe and Jack's mom's face accross the hospital crib, it was difficult to imagine how this beautiful family would carry on from that day. And all any of us could do was hold onto that sweet baby for dear life.
Joseph's joy and light lives on in his memory, his family, and the important work they do in his honor. Without even knowing the impact he had, Joe left behind a mission of good in the world. His parents transformed the pain of their loss into the foundation they created in his name. The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation not only provides support to cardiac kids and their families, but also spreads pure good in the world.
The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation honors Joseph’s message of “All You Need is Love” by spreading kindness, empowering children, funding cardiomyopathy research, and supporting families dealing with pediatric cardiac conditions. The three main goals of the foundation are:
1. To expand The Joseph Middlemiss "All You Need is Love" Mission, fostering the spread and documentation of Random Acts of Kindness on local, national, and international fronts.
2. To educate children on the power of kindness by supporting the efforts of schools (creating and leading motivational assemblies, providing books and related resources), and by empowering students through scholarships for music and martial arts.
3. To contribute to research for and spread awareness of cardiomyopathy while providing financial, social, and emotional assistance to families impacted by these cardiac conditions.