Crossing The Finish Line
April 21, 2017
BENEFITING: RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES INC
ORGANIZER: HOME AWAY BOSTON INC
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
1st Hand Knowledge of how Families Heal Together:
In 2015 my daughter Ava Jean was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. She endured a 14 hour surgey on June 4th and a 3 week hospital stay. The good news was that the tumor was benign the bad news was that the surgery couldn't remove all of it. My 7 year old girl would need radiation to kill off what remained of the tumor. We are from New York and started to reserach options for radiation. We decided that Proton Beam Therapy would be the best course of action. This type of radiation is only offered in a hand full of locations throughout the United States and Massachusetts General Hospital was one of them. The treatment would be 6 weeks and we as a family would need to put our lives on hold and relocate up to Boston.
This organization was amazing and played an unbelievable part in how not only Ava Jean healed but how our family managed to come together. There was so much anxiety at the begining of this journey and immediately upon arrival the Directors Kim and Cailin made us feel comfortable and at home. We were provided with an apartment that comfortably fit our family of 4. This apartment was beautiful, it was inviting, it was clean and above all felt very much like home. Kim and Cailin called us before arrival, asked what foods we liked and then stocked the fridge for us. They provided us with events and things to do within Boston. They had family game nights and crafts for the kids to take part in. If we needed anything they were a quick phone call or text away.
Without the RMH Boston Harbor (formerly Home Away Boston)we would have needed to find a rental or some other housing options that would have been costly and or uncomfortable. The burden of a sick child, mounting medical bills from her surgery and hospital stay, the back and forth with medical insurance, and not to mention the loss of work for me as the sole breadwinner for my family was overwhelming. This was one piece of the puzzle that I didn't have to worry about and for this reason I'm running. I'm running becasue no child should fight alone, becasue the last thing a family needs during this time is additional stress. I'm running becasue RMH Boston Harbor (formerly Home Away Boston) helped us heal.
I have never run a marathon before, in fact when we arrived in Boston, I couldn't even run for 2 consecutinve minutes before I needed to stop and take a break. I started running while we were there as a way to clear my head and relieve some of my own personal stress. RMH Boston Harbor (formerly Home Away Boston) is literally right on the Harborwalk . I would go out at about 9pm and run/walk for 30 minutes on most nights. By the time we left Boston I was able to run a mile with out stopping and my progress continued to grow from there. Running has become a way of life for me now. I run with the image of my daughter in my head and when the training gets tough I think of her and all the other kids that are fighting for life. This has become a passion and I'm thrilled to be a part of this team and to help an amazing organization.