Last year was my first ever marathon, and it was just amazing. As explained in last year’s profile, my path to the MGH Marathon Team was a long and unexpected one. My lovely wife, Ginger, was a patient for several years at MGH, and we made frequent trips to the Yawkey Cancer Center. She passed away in May 2011 away from ovarian cancer. During our time at MGH the care that we received under the care of Dr. Carolyn Krasner and NP Maria Roche was just amazing, and Ginger wanted to give something back. She also wanted to do all she could to help future patients fight this disease. We decided to establish a scholarship to help nurses in the cancer center who are taking graduate courses to become nurse practitioners. The Ginger Sutherland Davis Nursing Endowed Scholarship is now a reality, and the first two were presented in November 2012. I was deeply honored to be a Patient Partner and ran for Stephen Broderick last year and will also be this year. I will also be running in memory of Ginger and my sister in law Barkley Sutherland who also passed away from cancer a few months after Ginger.
See a description of the MGH Team and the Patient Partner Program below.
I am reaching out to my friends and family once to help support me and my goal to raise $10,000 for the MGH team.
About the Marathon Team
Since 1998, with the partnership of John Hancock Financial, the Mass General Marathon Team has raised over $6.7 million to support the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MassGeneral Hospitalfor 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. The goal for the team this year is to raise $1 million for this cause.
The MassGeneral Marathon Team is centered around the Marathon Patient-Partner Program, in which runners are paired with patients undergoing cancer treatment at MGHfC. When our runners set out on Boston’s grueling 26.2-mile course, they not only raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research; they inspire and bring hope to the youngest patients we serve.
Last year, 50 children undergoing treatment were paired with Mass General runners. Some runners take part to support young patients they already know and love while others bond with a courageous child they have never met through the Patient-Partner Program. At an emotional pre-race pasta party and ceremony on the night preceding the marathon, runners presented a medal of honor to their patient-partner. It symbolizes a shared personal commitment in the fight against pediatric cancer, and represents all the hope we have that our efforts at Mass General will lead to a cure for this devastating disease.
The Child-Life Program
The Child-Life Program within the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at MGHfC benefits every year from the funds raised by the Marathon Team. The program utilizes therapeutic play — including music and art therapy, massage and acupuncture — 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, an indication of the growing popularity of the programming, the recognition of its importance and the program’s ability to continue to expand its offerings — thanks in large part to philanthropic dollars.
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