On Sunday, October 1, I will once again be participating in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. I am so grateful for your past support of my fundraising efforts, and I am reaching out today to ask for your continued generosity. I did my first walk in 1990 (the second year of its existence). This I believe will be my 8th walk since that first one.
- Donate online: give directly through my fundraising page: http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/Ken-Foster_2023
- Send in a check: Write a check payable to "Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk" with my name and participant ID - 1508478 in the memo line and send it directly to the address below:
Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
PO Box 3595
Boston, MA 02241-3595
I have been committed to this cause for a long time. My niece Stacey was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1984 when she was just 9 years old. Stacey was the ultimate fighter. She went through a very difficult treatment period, both physically and emotionally. When she was diagnosed, many of the successful treatments in place now were just experimental. Most patients diagnosed with Leukemia, as well as a number of other childhood cancers, passed away shortly after diagnosis. Almost every child Stacey was diagnosed with, and in treatment with, passed away at some point during their treatment. As you can imagine, that took a huge emotional toll on both Stacey and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, as well as Stacey’s two older siblings. Stacey battled though, battled through countless rounds of chemo, two bone marrow transplants, and more tubes, shots and medications that anyone can imagine. She persevered though and through a lot of pure grit and determination along with the amazing help of Dana Farber and Children's Hospitals and their absolute hero physicians and nurses, she lived until she was 30 years old. There wasn’t much time during those 21 years that Stacey wasn’t in treatment though. There were good days and a lot of bad days. But when you looked at her, you never knew it. She smiled and enjoyed being in your company. My two kids were born 4 and 6 years after Stacey was diagnosed. They were the babies in the family and Stacey absolutely adored both of them. She always pushed my wife and I to go out so she could babysit. Luckily, we lived around the corner from her, so she was a constant presence in our home. She fought the good fight every single day. Unfortunately, as time passed, all of those experimental drugs took a toll on her organs, and she passed away. She was an absolute inspiration to my daughter Allison who watched what Stacey went through in life and turned that into a passion to become a nurse. Allison studied and worked hard to get into Boston College, graduating and becoming a RN but then she wanted to be able to help kids even more. So, she went back to BC and got her master’s degree and is now a pediatric nurse practitioner. With every child she treats, she takes her inspiration from Stacey to help children through some very difficult times. Fortunately, through all the funds that have been raised through this walk and other fund-raising activities, most childhood cancers can be quicky treated now and children can go on to enjoy a fairly normal life. We saw that more recently when another niece of ours was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Through quick and aggressive treatment, she was in remission very quickly and she now too is a nursing student about to start her senior year.
Personally, I know I thank God every day that I was fortunate to have two healthy children and two healthy grandchildren. Even though I saw it up close and personal with Stacey, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering of any family when their child is diagnosed with cancer.
Please join me in this fight! I hold onto the same goal I have had every year; no child should ever have to hear the words “you have cancer and there is nothing we can do.” At least now, through these contributions, most childhood cancers can be quickly cured, and kids can return to as normal a life as possible. We will likely never eliminate cancer, but let's keep fighting until cancer is no longer a death sentence.
With your past support, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been able to accomplish great things including:
- Scientists at Dana-Farber have developed a new screening tool to predict effective therapies in solid tumors and are able to screen hundreds of drugs at once. The technique is faster and more accurate than previous approaches.
- Dana-Farber launched the Center for BRCA and Related Genes, dedicated to the care for, prevention of, and research into BRCA-related cancers.
- To increase access to our high-quality patient care, we opened the Dana-Farber – Merrimack Valley adult outpatient facility north of Boston, and continued construction of Dana-Farber – Chestnut Hill to the west.
Dana-Farber has ambitious goals for what it hopes to accomplish in the future and that is why I have set my goal to raise $15,000.00 through my participation in this year’s Jimmy Fund Walk. May I please have your support once again?