The 2015 Boston Marathon is just around the corner, and I’m reaching out to each of you to ask for your support. As in years past, I will be running this year’s marathon to raise money for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
My inspiration to run this year is a very special six year old little girl, Stella, who I had the privilege of caring for in June 2014, when she presented to our pediatric intensive care unit with a large stroke in the setting of newly diagnosed acute leukemia. Together with her mother, Jesse, and father, Chris, the PICU team and the pediatric Oncology team, we cared for Stella during a very frightening period. With time, Stella’s condition slowly improved and her precocious personality began to emerge. Her beautiful smile returned and her determination to get her strength and voice back kicked in. I quickly learned of her penchant for crazy colored nail polish (deftly applied by her dad) and her distaste for silly jokes (at least mine). It has now been 9 months since Stella’s diagnosis, and I am incredibly happy to share her amazing progress. She is in her 6th cycle of chemotherapy and doing well. She has regained strength in her right leg and is back to running, jumping and skiing! She is talking up a storm and making sentences. She is back at school full-time, playing with her friends and otherwise totally herself. Her marathon has been a long one with many steep hills to overcome. Not once has she stopped to walk or contemplated quitting. I am truly inspired by her and her parents, Jess and Chris, who have been there every step of the way to cheer her on during the tough times and celebrate each of her amazing achievements. This April 19, I will run for Stella. When the going gets tough and I contemplate walking or even quitting, I will think of Stella and keep chugging forward.
Thank you for considering making a donation to the MGH Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program and thank you for all of your years of support. Your generosity and cheering have enabled me to finish the marathon each of the last several years and the MGH Pediatric Heme/Onc program to offer so many wonderful programs to support children and their families facing the incredible hardship of a child with cancer.
With my sincerest gratitude,
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