2008 Mass General Marathon Team
Fighting Kids' Cancer...One Step At A Time
also please check our family website at www.PlatypusandSalamander.com
Our story—the picture at left is my youngest son Alexander who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2006. The photo shown was taken shortly after the diagnosis while he was inpatient at MassGeneral. I am happy to report that Xander—my favorite nickname for him—has been clear of leukemia for over a year now and even though he will continue with treatments for quite some time, his prognosis is very good.
About this time last year Alexander was asked to be the patient partner of Robin Kievit, a caregiver affiliated with MassGeneral who was also a volunteer and fundraiser on last years Marathon team. The night before the race, at the traditional spaghetti dinner I made a decision to try and become Alexander’s next partner if I could manage to get a place on this year’s team. I bought some new shoes and hit the road. At this point I am on the team, Xander is my patient partner, I am in training and our whole family is conspiring to get me across that finish line in April. I am now up to about 40 miles a week and my long runs are getting really long. The last one was 23 miles. If I can avoid injury, finishing the marathon shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The question is “how fast?”
It probably comes as no surprise that my motivation for running this marathon is gratitude. While Xander’s treatment protocol comes with no guarantees, I do believe that the folks at MassGeneral saved his life. Diagnosis day was like a kick in the gut—at first it was a struggle to even say the word leukemia—but it doesn’t take long for the parenting instinct to kick in. The transition to patient parent is quick but full of uncertainty and tears. Xander’s primary care physician tried in vain to reassure us but it wasn’t until we arrived at MassGeneral that we began to understand what we were facing. Immediately after arriving at the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology clinic and meeting Dr. Alison Friedman we began to gather some optimism. It is hard to describe in a few sentences but Dr. Friedman projected a sense of concern and care coupled with confidence and professionalism. Most notably she used the word cure easily and often. Over the next few hours we met more caregivers, members of Xander’s team, with a similarly determined and optimistic attitude. There is no mistaking the fact that these folks are in the business of curing cancer.
As I understand it, the funds we raise will go directly to support the Cancer Care for Kids by supporting research into the causes of childhood cancer and to develop new treatments for these cancers. I would be most grateful if you would consider sending a gift. If you give through this website, the money will go directly to them. You can also mail me a check (made out to Massachusetts General Hostpital) and I will pass it along.
Thank you for visiting my Personal Fundraising Page. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a contribution to my fundraising efforts. Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
By the way--let me know if you would like a genuine Meche Marathon Team Glow-in-the-Dark wristband. Stay tuned for updates! we are currently out of stock on the glow-in-the-dark bands but expect to be getting some snappy yellow and black ones in any day now.