Hello and thanks so much for visiting my page!
This year I walk for my beloved older sister Andrea, who passed on March 18th from hepatocellular carcinoma. That was just over a year from her initial diagnosis, something we are still trying to understand. She was so many roles to so many people, affecting all those on so many different levels: daughter, sister, wife, mother, colleague, friend, mentor. I looked up to her as a model for all things in life: a beautiful marriage and family, a successful academic and research career, lots of close friends and colleagues, sooo many students influenced. But more importantly, she also showed how to live through other non-tangibles, like grace and kindness, being truthful, fair, and nonjudgmental, having the ability to seemingly balance everything in her life, having bottomless patience, never being quick to anger nor complaint, maintaining quiet determination and perserverance...the list just goes on and on.
How Andrea was able to maintain her composure and positive attitude while enduring therapy after therapy, until every option had run out, never complaining, never fussing, is a testament to her strong will.
In the end, there must remain hope, and the ability to find beauty and meaning in everything, much like the picture above, which Andrea took upstate with her family.
In our lifetime, many of us will be touched by cancer in some form or another. In addition to Andrea, mom also lost two sisters to cancer, both two months after Andrea. So this year's walk will be extremely personable.
Understanding the nature of cancer - any cancer - is key to finding new therapies for it. I don't say cure because from what I understand, one is never entirely cured from cancer, but rather, one falls into remission. It is these new therapies that Drs need our help with to push beyond what is already known.
At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, support goes towards an equal balance between cutting-edge science and highly compassionate cancer care. It allows the Institute's leaders to enhance programs and initiatives that serve pediatric and adult patients and their families.
Even though Andrea and my two aunties are not with us today, perhaps one day there will be effective therapies for all cancer patients that will bring each to remission. It is with this in mind and the memory of beautiful lives that I put one foot in front of the other on September 22nd.
Thank you in advance for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can help move progress forward.