The year 2023 started off with my desire to find a cure for cancer greater than ever. In October I was advised my Melanoma had returned after being cancer free for 6 years. Actually at my October visit with my Dermatologist she told me my checkups were so good that we could now change back from 6 month visits and return to the 1 year annual checkup. That was before she look a biopsy from the top of my head. Two days later I got the call and I am back to my 6 month visits. They removed a large cell from the top of my head and grafted skin from my shoulder to patch me up. Add to that my brother-in-law was notified he has prostate cancer in December.
Many of you have known me for years and know of my passion for supporting the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber in their mission to find a cure for cancer and providing the best patient care possible. I have told my story before but for those new to supporting my Jimmy Fund efforts let me repeat it. My first exposure to cancer came in 1951 when I lost my father when I was 7. Since that time I have lost many family members and friends to cancer. My wife, Penny, and daughter Kimberly, were each diagnosed about 6 years ago as having BHD (Birt-Hogg-Dube') an extremely rare cancer gene, and in 2017 I myself was first treated for melanoma. Having been a police officer for almost 40 years there hasn't been much I haven't seen. I've had guns and knives pulled on me and been in some very scary situations. But, I can truthfully say, nothing put the fear of God into me more than when I got the call from my Dermatologist telling me the biopsy she took was, in fact, melanoma cancer. I was fortunate it was discovered early and removed. However, as I said it came back in a different location 6 years later. I am not alone in this fear of cancer. Each of you either have had cancer or know someone who heard those terrible words, “It’s cancer.”
I have participated in the Jimmy Fund Walk since its inception and for 15 years before the Jimmy Fund Walk I ran with the Massachusetts Police Chiefs in our Run for Jimmy. Run for Jimmy was a relay style run from the New York border ending at Dana Farber. Each year I participate I walk for people who are either in the fight of their life trying to beat cancer and on more occasions than I like for those who have lost their battle. This year I am walking for Patrick Nash who succumbed in his battel with cancer last November. Patrick has been added to my pictures ofpeople I walk for. I also walk for my brother-in-law Bradford Surner and friend, retired Chief Jim Smith of Somerset, who are both battling prostate cancer.
There are so many selfish reasons for my participation each year in support of the Jimmy Fund. I walk with Team Police Chiefs, which represents police chiefs across the Commonwealth. Since 1947 the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association have had the Jimmy Fund as their only charity. Each of us can relate to cancer and know someone either with cancer or who has lost their battle. 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.
If you would be kind enough to donate to my walk you can log into “Jimmy Fund” and go to “Team Police Chiefs” and click on Michael Healy or if you would rather you can go directly to my personal web page and see exactly all those I walk for which is located at:
If you feel more comfortable contributing by check please make it payable to Jimmy Fund and send it to me at PO Box 51, West Dennis, MA 02670.
If you have a loved one or family member you want added to my list of “People I Walk For” please let me know. Thank you in advance for your support of the Jimmy Fund and remember this year more than ever they need your support.
Thank you for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can conquer cancer! These are some of the people I walk for.