EVENT: 2017 Falmouth Road Race
EVENT DATE: Aug 20, 2017
All six of us Hancocks are running the Falmouth Road Race in August. We've all ran this race multiple times but all for the same reason.
We're all running the Falmouth Road Race again this year for the Boston House. Our parents, also known as grandparents now, Carol and Dave Hancock, helped to start this amazing house back in 1979 after our brother Paul, the youngest of 9 kids, died after battling leukemia. He was 4 years old. My mother was on the Board of Directors from its inception up until a few years ago. Her and my father volunteered weekends there for 25+ years.
Sorry about the length of this page but please read this story of the ordeal ;
"Board Member Carol Hancock tells of her own experience with childhood cancer.
Being the youngest of nine, Paul went everywhere with us, from baseball practice to recitals to school plays. He was a good sport, rarely complaining about being dragged to yet one more place for one more event. But one time he was different. That time we were off to a Little League game, and suddenly Paul started whining. "Carry me," he said. "Please carry me." "But Paul," I said, "you're three and a half now. You're a big boy, too big for me to carry."The next day, he woke up with a fever and swollen glands. Must be the flu, I told myself, and we headed to the doctor's office. That night, the doctor called us. "We got Paul's blood test results," he said, "and we think he might have leukemia. It's just a suspicion, but . . . ."That's when our nightmare began. My husband David tried to reassure me. He said, "The doctor said he suspects. He didn't say he knows." I shot back, "If he called, he doesn't just suspect."After more blood tests, the diagnosis was confirmed. My little boy had acutemyelogenous leukemia.We knew nothing about leukemia, white cell counts, platelets. All I could think was, "How could this be happening? These things happen to other people, not to us!”Everything happened so fast. One day I thought my son has the flu, and the next thing I know he's a patient on Division 28, what was then the oncology unit at Children's Hospital. We were supposed to go to my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary party the night he was admitted. What were we supposed to do? How could we just leave Paul?And what about our other children? How were we supposed to tell them about Paul? I felt so lost and so afraid with nowhere to turn. I talked to Paul's oncologist, Dr. Sallan. I rambled, but he understood. "Mrs. Hancock," he said, "we'll take good care of Paul here. Take your other children to the party. And tomorrow, bring them all to my office. I'll help you tell them about Paul."That's what we did. The next day, we packed our eight other kids into the car, ranging in ages from eight to sixteen, and headed to Division 28. Dr. Sallan met us in the playroom. That's where we all sat, on kiddie chairs around the kiddie table. And slowly, quietly, Dr. Sallan explained about Paul and his disease-what it was and what it wasn't. He told them it's not contagious, not hereditary. He assured them that nothing they said or did made Paul sick. He explained that saying "get lost" didn't make it happen. And even though Paul is sick, they'll sometimes still get mad at him, and that's okay. Dr.Sallan thought of everything that could go through a kid's head. He got us through that day. He got us through many days.When Paul was diagnosed more than 25 years ago, there was little in the way of treatment. Bone marrow transplants were a new procedure, and that was our one realhope for Paul. But who could donate the bone marrow? Everyone in our family was tested, and our second youngest, Christopher, was a perfect match. So we were set. A bed would be ready for Paul after Christmas. We were nervous, but excited. We had hope.In late December, we learned that Paul couldn't have the transplant after all and that he only had six weeks to live. Dr. Sallan helped us break the news to our three youngest kids. He explained that sometimes people with cancer make it and sometimes they don't.Those last weeks were so hard for all of us, especially the kids. They adored Paul. He was the youngest, their baby. "Paul Goofy" they called him, and he'd smile, "I'm not Paul Goofy. I'm Paul Gregory."He was always in pain. He was so weak that he could barely walk. He was in and out of the hospital those last few weeks. It was so hard for him there and he had been through so much already-radiation, needles, endless IVs, five spinal taps in two weeks. Whenever we'd get near the hospital, he'd say, "I'm not going upstairs, am I, Mama?" "I'm sorry, honey," I would always tell him, "I can't promise you anything."On February 8, 1976, we wrapped Paul up in a blanket and drove to the hospital for the last time. When we got to there, Paul cried, "I don't want to go upstairs, Mamma. I don't want to go upstairs." I held Paul while he got his pain medication, and then I said, "Don't worry, honey, we're going home now."Paul died that night at home, surrounded by family who loved him.If Paul had lived, he'd be 31 today. But life took a different turn for him, for us all. Two months after Paul died, I started volunteering at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and I didn't leave for 22 years. At my retirement party, the doctor who treated Paul approached me. This time I didn't call him "Dr. Sallan," I called him "Steve.""Steve," I said, "I was hoping you'd speak at my party." He put his arm around me and said, "Carol, today I didn't want to stand before you. I wanted to stand with you." Then he hugged me, and I felt so much for this man who had been Paul's doctor and who was now my colleague and friend."You ended where you began," he told me.
Carol Hancock is a founding member of the Friends of the Jimmy Fund and of the House. To this day she serves on our Board and several committees. She and her husband David volunteer as weekend substitutes several times a year. Since 1979 the Boston House has served as a “home-away-from-home” for children with cancer and their families. As an essential part of their overall care, the House provides its guests with low-cost and convenient accommodations in a safe and comfortable home-like setting. Here, children, families, and caregivers find comfort and support among staff, volunteers, and other families facing the life-changing realities of childhood cancer and other life-threatening hematological illnesses. ANY donation would be great. Whether it be $5 or $50.
The Boston House was founded in the 70's by parents who had to deal with childhood cancer with their own kids. They realized that it was bad enough for a parent to go through the hell of having a child treating at Children's or Sidney Farber (now Dana Farber) let alone having to sleep on the floor or on a chair at the hospital. Since its inception our family has been very involved in its operations (Carol Hancock was on the Board of Directors for 20+ years, Marty is currently on the Board and Chris Hancock was also on the Board up until a few years ago). The only way the House stays afloat is through this road race and a golf tournament. Please donate if you can
~ Thank you so much, Marty, John, Chris, Luke, Dailey, and Matt Hancock