BENEFITING: The Children's Room
ORGANIZER: The Children's Room
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013
I’m just 30 years old, and have already lost half of my immediate family. It has not been easy.
When I was in my freshman year of college in 2001, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and after two years of struggling through the cycle of treatments, rehabs, and nursing homes, he passed away. My younger brother Ryan (three years my junior) and I had to struggle through that tumultuous time. To this day, I’m sure Ryan took it even it harder than I did, because he always had a much more difficult time talking and sharing his feelings, and also his big brother was physically miles away at college. I also was fortunate enough to be by my dad’s bedside during his final moments, with my mother; my brother was not so fortunate. I can’t imagine how this impacted his grief further.
We imagine it was around this time that Ryan began experimenting with drugs. Over the following many years, he struggled with this addiction, one that destroyed him from the inside out. Again, during this process, he was for the most part very unable to share his feelings with my mother and me. We do know he grieved for us, and for himself. In February of 2010, Ryan overdosed on heroin at our family home. My grief has been quite regular ever since, and my mother’s even more so.
There are two reasons I am running my very first Boston Marathon for The Children’s Room (TCR).
I will run in memory of my brother and father, who, in their own special ways, contributed to our family and friends, and this world as a whole, in very caring and giving ways, most of which many people may never know.
Also, my mother and I talk often about our grief, though my mother still cannot come to look at most photographs of Ryan, in helping us through this grieving process. Just the other day in fact, we talked about TCR and how difficult it must be for a young child to suffer a loss, when we as adults find so much trouble grieving, understanding, and recovering. I will run to help give confused and saddened children the opportunity to find understanding, hope, and peace through the services TCR provides.
These children and their families deserve to be supported by a safe and caring community as they work through their grief. Your financial donation is needed desperately to help me meet my fundraising goal of $7,500. Your donations will help TCR provide direct, hands-on comfort to children struggling with loss. If you have ever lost someone special in your life, especially suddenly, you know how it feels to grieve. Now, imagine if you were a young child.
TCR current participants include children ages 3 to 18 and their families. Some of these children witnessed the sudden death of their loved one, other children lost parents or siblings to lengthy illnesses. The services the organization provides are free. Grieving families have enough to deal with, without making cost a barrier. Families are invited, but not required, to make a donation. Because TCR offers a peer support model, they are not eligible for health insurance reimbursements. TCR estimates that it costs $1,500 a year for one child or teen to enroll in the program. It costs about $5,000 a year for an entire family to come to TCR, where they can find support and connection with other families who are grieving.
Help these children with a donation; any and every dollar amount is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
To make a secure donation to my fundraising page, click the donation button on the top right of this page. You may also send checks to The Children’s Room at 1210 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02476. Please make your check out to "The Children's Room" and write “Marathon/John” in the memo line so that your gift will count towards my goal.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,