Dear Friends and Family,
Many of you know that I have run the Boston Marathon on behalf of Boston Children's Hospital since 2005. My coming back year after year is due in large part to my friendship with a very special BCH patient, Jillian. She is 16 and a junior in high school. We have known each other since she was 4 and she is truly my inspiration. She has been a patient at BCH since she was 6 months old and has seen just about every specialist there! Two years ago, she endured 5 trips to the OR; spinal fusion surgery; a staph infection; a month at BCH; 6 months of antibiotics and missed the first 6 weeks of her freshman year. While she has had more than a few tough years medically, the last two years she has been well enough to be out with the team on Saturday mornings at our water stops providing great support and encouragement to all the runners on our many long training runs. Her positive outlook on life is infectious and she loves being able to give back to the hospital that has helped her thrive. In fact, last year, she won the Katie Lynch Award which BCH presents to an individual whose positive spirit and love for life has given them the strength to focus on the needs of others. It was a well-deserved award and she was thrilled!
I’m also running this year in memory of Lacey Warner who was also a patient at BCH. She was born in West Virginia in 1997 with a very rare heart condition called Truncus Arteriosus. She had open heart surgery when she was 2 weeks old and was not recovering well. After having a stroke at 3 months, the doctors in WV told her parents there was nothing more they could do to help her. Her parents had Lacey life-flighted to BCH. After many tests, MRI's and echocardiograms it was determined that her surgery in WV was not done "properly" and would have to be done over. Surgery at Boston went well and Lacey was a happy little baby when they took her home for the first time 1 day before her 1st birthday! Lacey underwent 2 more heart surgeries at BCH, 1 sinus surgery as well as many other procedures and did AWESOME!! Her parents spoke at Harvard Medical School on several occasions as Lacey's condition was very complicated and is now in the text books at Harvard. The doctors told her parents that they had never seen a case like Lacey’s and were thrilled at how well she was able to do. In 2013, at a regular 6 month check-up, doctors discovered there was a valve that was not functioning properly and they were stumped as to what to do. Lacey’s heart was failing. Doctor's presented her case at conferences all over the world. Surgery was scheduled, however Lacey went into full heart failure at home in WV 10 days before her scheduled surgery in Boston. Lacey was Med Flighted to Boston and although the surgery went well, she did not recover as her little heart had been through so much and just could not adapt to the new way of working. I am honored to be running in memory of Lacey Warner this year.
I would like to ask for your help again. I am seeking to raise at least $5,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital this year. I appreciate all the support that I have received in the past, and I hope you know how much it helps to keep me going on both training runs as well as on Marathon Day. I am hoping you will consider helping again this year! If you would like to support me in this effort, you can help in one of these ways:
1) Donate online on this site
2) Write a check (payable to Boston Children's Hospital) and either send it to me or I can pick it up,
3) Send a note of encouragement and/or cheer for us on Marathon Day!
Thank you for your support of me, Jillian, Lacey and Boston Children's Hospital!! I would also love to know if anyone will be out on the course on Marathon Monday (4/17/17) as I will be looking for your smiling faces!