BENEFITING: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
ORGANIZER: St. Jude
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
I have the privilege to have been selected to run the 2017 Boston Marathon as part of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Charity Team for the second year in a row! The mission of St. Jude is “is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.”
- St. Jude leads the way the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
- They share their breakthroughs with hospitals world-wide so that doctors, scientists, and researchers benefit from St. Jude’s discoveries.
- Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — “because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
More than just the opportunity to support an amazing charity & run The Boston Marathon, it is my passion to help further this mission as I run & raise funds to honor the memory of Ricky McAvaddy, a very special little Hero who lost his battle to Relapse Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.in 2010. Please forgive the length of this, but it is difficult to explain what doing this means to me in few words.
Ricky is the son of Rick & Jamie McAvaddy and big brother of Kate and Emily. I first met Ricky & his family through my sister-in-law, who is one of Jamie’s best friends. Ricky was a beautiful little boy, with bright blue eyes & a smile that would light up a room. He was smart, silly, and loving- everything a little boy should be. He adored his mommy & the incredibly close bond between them was obvious to anyone who met them, myself included. I remember one day at the park and Ricky was running around, but he would stop every once in a while, to yell “Mommy, I love you!” Looking back on that, as I often do, it has become a very bittersweet memory. Ricky’s dream was to be a weatherman and he loved to draw rainbows. In 2006, the Ricky was diagnosed with leukemia. He fought so hard and he was so brave and for a brief time, it looks as though he had it beat. Unfortunately, it came back and on October 22, 2010, Ricky passed away peacefully in his parent’s arms. It was one month before his 8th birthday. I cannot imagine what Rick & Jamie went through & still go through every day that they live without their little man. Throughout Ricky’s illness, they remained positive & optimistic- they never stopped believing a cure could be found. It was because of this that Ricky’s passing came as almost a shock to me- Jamie especially never shared anything but positive news about Ricky. Even at the end, she never stopped looking for more trials & treatments that might save her son. However, when the time came, she & Rick were brave enough & selfless enough let him go where he would no longer be in pain or suffer- a sacrifice I cannot fathom having to make. And while I realize that running a marathon will not bring Ricky back, I can run to honor not only their son, but their sacrifice, bravery, and courage and to help further their fight & hope that a cure will be found.
I need all the support I can get- no donation amount is too small & your prayers and postive thoughts are needed as well! Thank you so much!!!