On March 28, 2014 my son Sully, who was only 4 at the time, was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma. Over the past three years he has endured more things most people could imagine. Chemo, multiple surgeries, three different types of radiation treatments, antibody therapy, a stem cell transplant, immunotherapy, and more chemo. In April he will turn 8 and he is still battling cancer. Through it all, he has kept an amazing, positive attitude, smiling through some of the toughest times.
One of the reasons he is able to keep smiling is because he has a tremendous amount of support. After Sully was diagnosed a friend told me about Team Impact. Sully was matched with the Navy Sprint Football Team at the United States Naval Academy in our hometown of Annapolis, MD. This amazing team welcomed Sully and his brothers, Jack and Mac, onto their team and have provided my boys with an amazing experience. Sully truly loves his team. He loves going to practice and games with them and loves when they come to his sports games. They have provided a consistent source of joy in his life and, when times are tough, remind him of how much he is loved. In November Sully lost his hair for the third time due to his radiation treatment. The following day his team all shaved their heads. Sully had been a little down about losing his hair but seeing his bald team made him hold his bald head higher.
Why Boston? I have run 5 marathons. All in the four years before Sully's diagnosis. I have continued to run to keep my sanity but I have not attempted any sort of distance in the time since Sully was diagnosed. There was not much time to do anything for myself, running distance felt frivilous. Last year I saw that Team Impact had charity runners at the Boston Marathon and, while the timing was not right in his treatment last year, I quietly told myself another year - I will do it another year. There is a part of me that will always call Boston home. I met my husband working in a bar in Boston and the beginning of our life together was formed on those streets. Our first apartment was actually on the street where the marathon finishes. I also started running in Boston. I fell in love with running on morning runs through the Common and along the banks of the Charles. So pairing these two things, raising money for a charity that is close to my heart while running on the streets where my family and my running started just seemed natural.
Thank you for reading this and thank you for thinking about donating. Meeting my fundraising goal would give three more kids like Sully the opportunity to be paired with a team of their own and experience some of the same wonderful things Sully has experienced with this awesome organization. Thank you!