I'm thrilled and honored to be running the 2019 Boston Marathon on the MetroWest YMCA Boston team. This will be my tenth consecutive Boston Marathon, and it's a chance for me to give back for all of the incredible opportunities I have been given over my lifetime. As a kid growing up in a working-class neighborhood with parents of limited means, we never had fancy sporting equipment but my parents signed my brothers and me up for swimming lessons and even managed to find money to allow us to join swim teams. As a teenager I started running, partially because it was such a cheap and easy sport. Then at the age of 37 I ran my first marathon, and was completely hooked. Since then I've run a total of 43 marathons, and have no plans to stop. Running not only keeps me physically healthy, it's a balm for the soul and the mind, and I have also made many wonderful friends through the sport. Physical activity and sport improves every aspect of my life--I work better, I sleep better, I feel better, and I'm all around happier which leads to better and more fulfilling personal relationships.
The mission of the YMCA is to build "healthy mind, body, and spirit by reaching and teaching people at whatever stage they are in their life." I am particularly partial to their youth programs, which seek to help at-risk youth and to address the achievement gap by providing programs and a safe space for every child to reach her highest potential. In a society where the gap between the rich and the poor is growing larger all the time, the need for such programs is greater than ever. I often wonder what direction my own life might have taken had I not been given certain opportunities which completely changed the trajectory of my life.
The Y also helps adults by providing the LIVESTRONG program for cancer survivors and their families. My own mother had lung cancer when I was only 10 years old, and although she was fortunate and went on to lead a long life, I could easily have become motherless at a very young age. The Y also provides programs for adults with Parkinson's and MS, debilitating conditions for which we currently have no cure. And finally, the Y provides falls prevention classes for seniors to help them prevent falls and be able to live independently as long as possible. Having seen the long road my mother had to take after three separate falls, including two broken hips and a broken pelvis, I know first-hand how important such programs are.
Please reflect on your own good fortune and consider a gift to help those in our society who need help. As I always think myself, I could just as easily be the person in need. Thank you for your support!
The Y builds healthy mind, body and spirit by reaching and teaching people at whatever stage they are at in their life.
For example, to build confidence, address the achievement gap and nurture future leaders who are empathetic and creative problem-solvers, we offer:
Early child care, preschool and afterschool programs
High Flight for at-risk youth
Summer camps and Counselor in Training
And, to support adults' health and wellness goals of adults, we offer:
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for adult cancer survivors and their families to reclaim their health following cancer treatments;
Parkinson’s Disease Wellness Program for those with Parkinson’s disease, MS, or any other neuromuscular conditions;
Falls prevention classes for seniors to reduce the risk of falling or falling again.
And thanks to your generous donation, all of these programs, and more, are available to individuals and families, regardless of their current economic circumstances. Thank you for helping us all grow stronger, together.