On April 15, hundreds of Dana-Farber runners will take to the streets to participate in the 123rd Boston Marathon®. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team runs and raises funds with thousands of special people in mind. From Hopkinton to Boston, we carry thoughts of those people every step of the way.
One hundred percent of every dollar raised by the DFMC team supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. These funds are fueling some of today's most promising basic cancer research.
But why do I run?
Let me provide a little history - my younger sister, Jennifer, passed away 15 years ago, leaving behind her husband and then three year old daughter, Michelle. At the time, I had three small children to care for and not much time to grieve. My older sister, Deborah, was in a similar situation. So we began running as a way to have time to ourselves. Often those runs were tear filled but they gave me space so I kept at it. That year we ran the Boston Half Marathon together for the first time. At the race we realized that Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was the biggest sponsor of the race and we decided we would raise money and run for them the following year. We had no ties to Dana-Farber but we thought, why not, it's a great cause. Fast forward 3 years, and my niece Michelle (yes, the same one whose mom passed away a few years earlier) was diagnosed with advanced melanoma at age 7. She underwent a year of grueling treatment but is now 19 years old and thriving! It was back then, when she was diagnosed that I decided I would run and raise money for Dana-Farber for as long as my body would let me. I have been running the Dana-Farber Half Marathon almost every year since. Fast forward again to 2011 and my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was treated at Dana-Farber (despite the fact that he lived three hours away, we knew DF was the place to go) and was the beneficiary of their incredible research and strides made in the field. He was treated with the utmost care, kindness and dignity from everyone on staff there. He passed away on April 17, 2016 - the day before the Boston Marathon. I feel it is only fitting that I try to run the Boston Marathon for him.
So, I am running for my dad, I am running for Michelle, and I am running for other family members who are currently bravely battling different forms of cancer.
And, I am asking for your support. I want to raise a lot of money in the hope of finding a cure. So please - give what you can. No amount is too small. And, maybe one day, no one will need to receive a dreaded diagnosis.
Thank you for your support! Together, we're headed toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.