BENEFITING: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
ORGANIZER: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013
My participation with the Mass General Marathon Team was unexpected. It is as if the event reached out to me back in 2011. My lovely wife of forty years, Ginger, passed away in May of 2011 from ovarian cancer. She had been a patient at MGH for over four years and we both found the care to be simply amazing. Ginger was so touched by the care that she received that she wanted to give something back, and we came up with a plan while she was still a patient. Soon after she passed away, I began to interact with the MHG Development Office, and we established the Ginger Sutherland Davis Nursing Scholarship to help MGH nurses pursue their nurse practitioner degree with a focus on oncology. The first two were awarded in November of 2012, an event that my family and I will always remember fondly.
This scholarship, to be awarded annually, will help future patients and contribute to an eventual cure, both goals of Ginger and me. It was through my interactions with the MGH Development Office in setting up the scholarship that I first heard of the MGH Marathon Team. It seemed like a perfect fit for me in several ways: it would not only honor Ginger but also help the brave children being treated at the MGH Pediatric Oncology Department. Being a member of the team and making many new friends also helped me so much during a difficult time.
Thus, I ran my first ever marathon last year and was privileged to be a patient partner for Stephen Broderick, a wonderful, twelve year old boy undergoing treatment for leukemia. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Stephen and his family over this last year, and I am so happy to be running for him again this year. I will also be running in memory of Ginger and for Barkley Sutherland, my sister-in-law who passed away from breast cancer only six months after Ginger.
I am reaching out to my friends and family once again to help support me and my goal to raise $10,000 for the MGH team and the pediatric oncology department. This is another way that we can collectively help find better treatments and eventually a cure.
About the Marathon Team
The Mass General Marathon Team Fighting Kids' Cancer ... One Step at a Time was established in 1998 and has raised nearly $8 million in support of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Thanks to the generous support of John Hancock Financial and other partners, we will continue to run until we find a cure … One Step at a Time.
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.
Apply to run on our team today at http://give.massgeneral.org/marathon/join
Learn more about our cause at http://give.massgeneral.org/marathon/our-causes