What an awesome, inspiring day it was! Thank you all for your amazing support
April 19, 2016
BENEFITING: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
ORGANIZER: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
EVENT: 2016 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 18, 2016
To my friends and family,
I'm very excited to be training to run another Boston Marathon this Spring 2016. This year I will run as a member of Team Eye and Ear.
As a pediatric intensivist at MGH, I work closely with colleagues at Mass. Eye and Ear to care for infants and children suffering with airway abnormalities that prevent them from breathing easily. These young patients typically undergo many surgeries to repair their airways, with the ultimate goal of enabling them to run, jump, swim, sing, grow and breathe without a tracheostomy tube. (A tracheotomy is hole in the neck that creates an artificial airway to bypass obstruction higher in the airway.) While a tracheostomy tube enables infants and children to breathe more easily, it can make speaking, eating and fully participating in life difficult. The best way to graduate from a tracheostomy tube is to undergo complex airway surgery to widen the narrow section of the airway above. The recovery from such surgery is long and can be complicated. It requires specialized ICU-level care (that's where the PICU team at MGH comes in.)
In addition to caring for these pediatric patients in Boston, 6 years ago we created Operation Airway, a medical mission made up of providers from MGH and Mass. Eye and Ear that travels to other countries in Central and South America to work with local providers caring for children suffering with similar airway diseases as we see in the U.S..
The funds raised by Team Eye and Ear 2016 wil go toward programs that support airway patients and their families both in Boston as well as in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
This year I am especially excited to be teaming up with a little girl named, Olivia, who I have known and cared for since she was born in 2009. Olivia was born prematurely at 24 weeks and weighed in at 570 grams! She had a rocky start, including the need for a lot of breathing support due to premature lungs. She was ultimately found to have severe upper airway obstruction requiring tracheostomy placement at 3 months of age. Since that time, Olivia has undergone many surgeries and procedures to repair her airway. Despite many hospitalizations, set-backs, and disappointments Olivia hasn't allowed her disabilities to get in the way of being a kid. She loves to draw and play dress-up and ride a bike and even downhill ski. At the age of 5, she had already written and illustrated a book with her mother to help other children coping with tracheostomy tubes. In addition to helping other children in and around Boston, the book has now been translated into Spanish and shared with families we have worked with through Operation Airway. While Olivia's story is not over -- she continues to rely upon a tracheostomy tube to breathe -- hers is a truly inspiring story of resiliancy, joy and life in the face of tremendous adversity. This run is dedicated to her.
If you would like to make a donation to Team Eye and Ear 2016, please click on the "DONATE to this fundraiser" link. If the timing for this year isn't right, your well wishes alone will be greatly appreciated.
My sincerest thanks,