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, November 30, 2015

Give a Little Bit

Tomorrow is “Giving Tuesday,” a challenge in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to help redirect holiday spending towards charitable organizations during this season of giving.  There’s a good chance you’ve already been inundated with many worthy requests, yet I humbly ask for you to consider the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.  This very simple concept for us all to support organizations during the holidays can make a long-lasting impact, and I’d be very grateful for your gift to the DFMC and here’s why:

At our wedding 18 years ago, I overheard someone say, “This family is advertisement for having a big family” while watching my siblings and I dancing and goofing off.  Having 5 kids was not all that common and I vividly remember people asking my parents “Are they all yours?” quite frequently when we were out and about.  A large family didn’t come without plenty of challenges, but the majority of the time, there was companionship and laughter and fun.  That carried on through young adulthood during fun times like new weddings and babies and summer vacations and especially in the more difficult time when Molly and Mary and John were sick, through treatments and surgeries and recovery.  It’s something I think about and miss every day.  The big, chaotic holidays or beach vacations.  The 27 daily phone calls back and forth to share silly information.  Kicking the soccer ball and giving advice.  Even the arguing and disagreements which comes with a big, close, open family, but forgiveness and laughter was always quick to follow.

I was inspired eight years ago by Molly, Mary and John to begin running to raise funds for innovative cancer research at Dana-Farber.  It’s continued to be my way to be with them and to honor the incredible strength and determination they each showed throughout treatment.  Additionally over the past 8 years, I’ve had the privilege to come to know and learn about so many other friends and family members who have also been on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis, and all of these many, many people give deep meaning to every mile I run through training and during the marathon.  Last year and again this year, I will again run for my In-Memory patient, Jesse.  I wear their names on my back and am carried by their stories.  This team is a group of people filled with resilience:  the runners, families, volunteers, friends.  We come together each year with one goal in mind:  to fund research to find a cure.

I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand how your donations are making a difference in the future of cancer through the research being conducted by the Claudia Barr Program in Innovative Cancer Research.   The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a world leader in cancer research, and the Barr Program funds the brightest, most creative scientists making basic research discoveries that are transforming cancer treatment. Barr Investigators have made numerous major breakthroughs resulting in improved survival rates and quality of life for thousands of patients everywhere.  100% of every dollar raised through the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge goes directly to research.  One hundred percent. 

There are 42,000 meters in a marathon, and so I’ve set my initial goal this year higher than it’s ever been:  $42,000.  I humbly ask for your support of this program so we can continue to move closer to a world without cancer.  It’s ambitious, but each week, I hear of someone else faced with a new diagnosis and know that a family is facing an uncertain future.  There are advances being made every single day and our support through the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge is fueling much of the life-changing research.

To make an online gift, please go to: or if you would prefer, you may send a check payable to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge to me at home:  23 Glendale Rd., Marblehead, MA  01945. 

Should it be that the efforts of this team have provided you a little bit of inspiration, I hope it is to help you see that we all have the opportunity to find purpose beyond ourselves.  That you have the ability to make changes and affect the future.  There is great hope that comes from uniting to accomplish a goal as big as this, and it takes many, many people to get there.  I believe in this cause, and I’m certainly better because of this team and those who I have met as a result…teammates, supporters, patient partners and families, and volunteers.   Thank you for your support.  Thank you for sharing your personal stories and providing inspiration and strength over the miles.  Thank you for believing that we are making a difference.
With gratitude,

PS….There will be new “Be good. Be strong.” shirts coming soon!  Watch your email and Facebook!

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