Joseph Zampitella's 2017 Boston Marathon Fundraising Page
My name is Joseph Zampitella, and I’ll be running the 2017 Boston Marathon for my patient partner Jackson Ciacco, as part of the Credit Unions Kids @ Heart (CUK@H) team.
On September 30th, I was asked to join the CUK@H team as a replacement for an injured runner. Due to my age (60) and inexperience as a runner (I’ve never run a formal race), I asked for a few days to make a final decision. Having a few days to reflect allowed me to count my blessings, consult with family members, and learn more about Moyamoya disease and my patient partner.
When he was 17 months old, Jackson suffered an ischemic stroke, which doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital diagnosed as a result of Moyamoya disease. Moyamoya is a rare neurovascular condition that causes progressive restriction of arteries in the brain, resulting in mini-strokes. Dr. Edward Smith, director of Pediatric Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, performed a successful arterial transplant on Jackson to manage the effects of this disease. It’s impossible to overestimate the impact Boston Children’s Hospital has had on Jackson— and his family’s— lives.
After hearing Jackson’s story, I was struck by the courage of the entire Ciaccio family. Every day they make the decision to accept the challenge of Moyamoya disease. They accept that challenge for Jackson, their daughters, and for the other patients and potential patients of Boston Children’s Hospital. Jackson’s mother Danielle tells me that she is so proud and amazed at all Jackson has overcome and accomplished over this past year, and how he inspires her every day to be a better person.
The Ciaccio family is remarkable, and it is an honor to accept this challenge in support of their cause. I believe Mary Anne Radmacher put it best with the following aphorism: “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.”
I’m also proud to be a part of the Credit Unions Kids @ Heart team. Credit Unions Kids @ Heart (CUK@H) was founded in 1996 to raise money for a variety of treatments and specialized research projects to help patients at Boston Children’s Hospital. They do that mainly by sponsoring runners, like me, as part of the Miles for Miracles Patient Partner Program. 100% of the donations received go toward research and treatments for patients; none of your donation goes toward administrative costs.
As of 2016, the CUK@H team’s contributions have helped the Boston Children’s Hospital to fund special research projects into pediatric brain tumors, Sturges-Weber syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Moyamoya disease, among others. But there are still advancements to be made—and the CUK@H team and Boston Children’s Hospital need our help to make those advancements possible.
Please accept the challenge to support Jackson, his family, and the Credit Unions Kids @ Heart team along with me. They’ve accomplished a lot, but with our help, they can accomplish even more.
Thank you for your time, and any contribution you choose to make.