This October, I will participate for a 12th year in the Jimmy Fund Walk to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I continue to walk each year in loving memory of my dad, Larry Alexander, who received extensive treatment from Dana-Farber for a rare blood disorder until his death in November 2012.
For the second year in a row, the Walk will look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we cannot gather along the Boston Marathon route as we usually do, participants will be creating their own routes again this year. I am still committing to walking 26.2 miles, as I do every year, while mapping out my own bathroom and food stops along the way.
But this year’s Walk is special to me for another reason. On October 2, I got married! Since this year’s official Walk Day fell the day after my wedding, I am walking on a different day – October 23. While I will walk in memory of my dad as I do every year, this year I will also be thinking about his presence at my wedding. Even though he wasn’t there in person, so much energy and love surrounded us because of him. I felt his presence in my connections with other family members and friends, in the Jewish traditions that he passed down to me, and, most of all, in the expressions of love and partnership that he modeled for me. The funds I raise this year will be even more meaningful as I think about the possibility that future brides could have their fathers walk them down the aisle and dance with them at their weddings because of my efforts on behalf of Dana-Farber.
It is customary for Jewish couples to give tzedakah, or “charity,” on their wedding day in order to share their blessings and begin their marriage with a mitzvah (good deed). My husband, Sam, and I chose to donate to the Jimmy Fund Walk in memory of my dad, in memory of Sam's mom, Lindy, and in honor of our wedding. I hope you’ll join us in doing the same.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support. It means so much to me and my family.