I am participating in the 2020 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk: Your Way presented by Hyundai, taking steps toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer!
Moreover, this is truly personal to me. Over 30 years ago, my niece Stacey was diagnosed with Leukemia. At that time, almost all childhood Leukemia diagnosis' were fatal, but Stacey, with the help of Children's Hospital, Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund, received many experimental treatments that allowed her to be the exception to the rule. These experimental treatments, some now commonplace, allowed her to live many years beyond what we initially feared. Ultimately, she succumbed to the disease years later, but these treatments gave her 21 very special years we never thought would be possible.
Then, just last August, my 18 year old niece Arianna, whom I have always been very close with was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This came unexpectedly and was a shock to all of us. She by far is the most compassionate, understanding and caring person I have ever known. She is an exceptional student, is deeply committed to her family and lights up a room whenever she enters it. This was certainly not how any of us envisioned her starting her senior year in high school with so much to look forward to. But once again, with the help of Children's Hospital, Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund, she started treatment and was able to quickly get into remission. She finally was able to get back to school just prior to having to stop again because of COVID-19, and we all know how that has affected the lives of this year’s seniors. She did graduate Summa Cum Laude last week from High School and looks forward to continuing her academic career at St. Anselm's in the fall to follow the footsteps of her mom and my daughter into nursing, with a goal of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
She is by far my inspiration to be kind to others, and to always remember what's important, taking nothing for granted, ever. She is absolutely adored by my two grandchildren and the closeness she shares with these two and four year old kids is amazing. They mean everything to her and vice versa.
So yes, cancer does unfortunately affect us all, but I have seen firsthand how these funds go directly to helping all of these children. Many childhood cancers, once terminal, are now curable and it’s thanks to us, those that donate and contribute to making and keeping children well.
When you make a gift to my walk, you’re directly supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s unique 50-50 balance between cutting-edge science and highly compassionate cancer care. Your support allows Dana-Farber leaders to enhance programs and initiatives that serve pediatric and adult patients and their families.
Thank you for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can conquer cancer!