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!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why Dana-Farber?

In the fall of 2008, I was reeling from the death of my sister, Molly, six months earlier, and my brother, John, had recently moved back to town to again begin treatment for the recurrence of a brain tumor for the third time.  I was in search of a way to help.  And I found the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.

For those of you who don't live in the Boston area, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute may not be familiar to you.  I think it is important to understand as much as you can about this institute and to realize how their work might just affect you or your family, if it hasn't already. 

For those of you in New England, that name is as commonplace as the Boston Red Sox, Dunkin Donuts or Lobster rolls.  Dana-Farber is consistently rated as one of the top 5 cancer centers in the country and the top center in New England.  It is world renown for the exceptional care given, the cutting-edge research conducted, and the excellence of the staff.  

So, why the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge?

For one, every single cent of money raised goes directly to research.  100%.  For cancer research.  Unfortunately, not all donations to non-profits go where you think, and it was important to me that I know that ALL of the contributions in honor of the marathon challenge were going to fund innovative, cutting edge cancer research.  Not to fund lawsuits over using the name "for a cure" or to pay enormous salaries.  Or for first class travel.  Or copying expenses.  100% directly to scientists and doctors to continue their research.

Secondly, I was trying to find an organization whose work would span across different hospitals, states, countries, genders, and ages.  I wanted to make sure the organization could profoundly affect my friends and family who lived outside of the greater Boston area.  And I found that in Dana-Farber.  Their work has impacted treatments for many, many different types of cancers.  And has altered outcomes for pediatric patients and adult patients alike.  And the work they have done has been shared throughout the world to advance the research in places around the world.

Over the course of ten years, Molly, Mary and John were treated at Johns Hopkins, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Duke University, the National Institutes of Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, Vanderbilt University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and a variety of smaller community hospitals in multiple states.  While no one in my family was directly treated at Dana-Farber, but I feel sure that their treatment was affected by work done at this hospital.  John's treatment at Mass General was because MGH is an outstanding partner within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.  And I know Mary's was, too, because the doctor that was in charge of the treatment protocol at NIH was a Dana-Farber fellow and expanded on his research over the past years.  The impact is not local...and is for everyone.

And thirdly, the Boston Marathon is my hometown marathon.  By applying for a spot on this team, I would be allowed the opportunity to participate in an event that was close to home while helping to give back to an institution that has helped so very many people, near and far.  I would be able to run with a team whose mission was the same as mine.  To continuously find inspiration, support, and kindness from the other runners out pounding the pavement to reach the same end.  To run for those we love.  In Boston, in Massachusetts, in the United States, and beyond.

So, that's why.  And it is why I am proud to be a team member for the fourth consecutive year.  An amazing institute.  ONE HUNDRED percent of contributions go to research.  World reaching results.  All types of cancer.  People of all ages.  It's name, Dana-Farber, is synonymous with excellence.  And that's why your help makes a in Boston, in Tennessee, in Maryland, in Montana, in Missouri, in Sweden, in Australia.  Wherever you are.

We're running as fast as we can in the right direction.  Please consider a contribution to this valuable and important cause if you can.

Be good.  Be strong.

1 comment:

  1. I am always so inspired and impressed by your posts, Jennie, and by you. So proud to be a member of the DFMC with you. XX, Helen