To Make a Donation to the 2016 team

Please visit my fundraising page to make a donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( Please help me reach my goal of $50,000 to fund important basic cancer research! With your support, we have already provided over $366,000 to Dana-Farber researchers over the past 9 years. Please give as generously as your means allow!

Monday, December 13, 2010


The holiday season seems to be a time of ramped up anxiety, stress and always rushing around. We always seem to have someplace to be, something to pick up, someone to visit, wrapping, shopping, driving, mailing, decorating, hiding, baking, and fitting in some sleep. We often hear "If only I had an extra day this week, a little more time to get it all done" but much less often do we hear "thank you for this day."

Last week, I received an email from someone who I don't know very well who had heard about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. She shared with me that her sister was very ill as a result of a glioblastoma, the type of brain tumor that Molly and John both had. She had gone through some experimental treatment that the doctors thought might work for a couple of weeks, maybe months. Surprisingly, it worked for almost exactly a year, although the benefits of the treatment have since stopped. She wrote to say "thank you for all you are doing. Thank you for helping to give people time." Not time to squeeze 27 "to do" items into one day, but time to just live. Time to spend with family and friends. Those words really caused me to stop and think. The days and minutes we so often ask for to run errands or go on a trip or take a run are really such a huge gift to us all, yet we take them for granted.

As widely reported last week, Elizabeth Edwards died after living with cancer for 6 years. I saw an interview with her and she said that she knew there wasn't a cure for type of cancer she had, but treatment to try to keep it at bay. She was hoping that the research would stay one step ahead of the disease, and what she wanted and needed most out of the treatment was time. Time to be with her kids, to see them to adulthood. It shouldn't be that way. The expectation of treatment shouldn't be just for a little more time, but for a cure. Time is better, but it isn't good enough. Six years isn't good enough. One year isn't good enough. A month isn't good enough. It's better, yes. But it is not enough.

Please take the time, MAKE THE TIME, to stop and smell the gingerbread. This holiday season, and every day, we need to make sure we take the time to laugh with friends. To read with our kids. To visit family. To throw out some extra hugs to our nearest and dearest. Have fun. Take a breath. Say thank you. And appreciate each second. Take advantage of each day, and use the time you have wisely.

I am once again overwhelmed. I'm taken aback by your words, thoughts, actions, and generosity in support of my entire family and the marathon run. There aren't ways to say thank you to so many of you who help make this marathon experience as meaningful and valuable as it is, and the "marathon season" has just begun. I can say the words "thank you" over and over but I don't think those words ring strong enough to exemplify how moved I am by your support. This endeavor each year, while beneficial and valuable to further cancer research, is also therapeutic for me. It helps me find healing and strength. It allows me to feel I am doing something against a disease that has causes so much sadness and taken so much energy. Your support and kindness make it a possibility. So, thank you. My gratitude is HUGE.

Be good. Be strong.


  1. You are an amazing writer. You say so much about life and what matters.
    I just left a friend who is an athlete, high school principal and cancer survivor. She says she survived on "spunk."
    I think you have enough of that for the world, Jennie.
    I knew your mom when she was young--and spunk was the word for her, also. Mary Lewis Sheehan

  2. Jennie - a beautiful, beautiful post. So enjoy reading your words and so honored to be a teammate with you with the DFMC. XO, Helen

  3. Wow, Jennie - just what I needed to hear. You are an amazing writer, an amazing person, and an amazing friend! THANK YOU! xoxo