“I would like to run for DFMC because: ….” Why we’re running part II

It seems like I’ve left up the Waffles and Wonderment pic a little too long and it’s time to get writing and updating again.

However, I posed this to Facebook, but it deserves a second post:

Mark and I want to say a giant “THANK YOU” to everyone who helped make Waffles and Wonderment for The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge happen!

Thank you to those who donated, came, ate and played! Thank you to Stephy’s Kitchen in Beverly MA for donating waffle batter, thank you to Mark Preiss for wielding the waffle iron with your characteristic perfectionism so that each waffle was golden deliciousness (except maybe that first one when we switched over to new batter…sorry about that!) Most of all thank you to Charae D’Ambra and The Children’s Piazza for sharing your space, brewing coffee, tea, handing out free passes and taking the time to advertise and give advice…… and for considering doing this again in the spring–we are so lucky to have you on our side!

 Next, I said that I was going to share parts of our application that gives insight into why we are running, and also specifically why Dana-Farber. My first blog post outlined some of the intellectual reasons-we love the distribution of funds (100% to cancer research), it’s widely applicable, a well run program. The next excerpt from my application outlines a couple of intellectual reasons, but also few of the more emotional reasons that we’re running

I would like to run for DFMC because:

…I worked in a lab studying HSV mediated apoptosis in cancer and non-cancer cells during my undergraduate studies and after I graduated. That work and just the basic knowledge of how some cells step outside of their normal cell cycle, highlights for me that the complexity of discovering and designing treatment let alone “cures” and how essential funding research is.

…as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, my practice and my patients benefit from cancer research.

…my grandmother died of pancreatic cancer before I had a chance to meet her, and I can see the ways in which this loss has shaped (and still affects) my mother and her siblings’ lives.

… I had an abnormal breast finding on exam, mammogram and ultrasound, which lead to biopsy, so I know the intense terror of waiting….and waiting…and waiting…before the results came back negative.

…the results weren’t negative for one of my coworkers and for our friend and neighbor. Both of these women received amazing care and treatment for their breast cancer at Dana Farber and are survivors today.

…a dear family member looks so worried. “P” has been the family caretaker for as long as I can remember. When someone is in trouble or needs anything, she is right there to help. When I was in college, she used to slip me $20 bills whenever I came home and tell me that she was proud of me. Several months ago, P’s son son, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. He had just closed on his first house, was excited about all of the plans he had to make the place his own home and two weeks later he had a diagnosis and was starting treatment. While his surgery went well, the cancer had gone through his colon wall and there were four positive lymph nodes. P describes the roller coaster of treatment- one day he has energy and eats everything in sight, but for the last few days, he’s only slept and takes two bites and is done. His white blood cell count is low this week, so she tells me that she encourages people to send cards—so that they don’t have the possibility to bring germs into the house, but so that they can still show their support. His next chemotherapy treatment may be delayed and they’re vigilantly watching to make sure he doesn’t get a fever. He’s too weak and to tired to do any of the home improvements that he looked forward to. P says, “I’ve never been so sad in my life.” I know that the funds that I raise will take a while to find their way from bench work to treatments to clinical trials that might make a difference, so it’s unlikely this run or this money will change my cousin’s course. However, it’s programs like this that have supported research to discover the treatment we have available today, and that may reveal more focused, effective, treatment with fewer symptoms, so families like mine and patients wont have to endure the pain, nausea, fatigue, and uncertainty of treatment.

…Boston is our hometown. We have run marathons around the world, but it’s time to bring all of the time, effort and hard work that goes into marathon training back to Boston in a meaningful way.

 

 

As an update–I went to a fundraiser for my cousin last week. Tons of people came, donated, ate spaghetti and entered raffles. It was an awesome show of support. When I told P about this post (she asked about what I had said in my application, because I had asked her permission to discuss all of this), she said, “I’m still proud of you, I talk about you all the time.” My cousin’s treatments have been spread out to every 3 weeks because of his platelet founds–same number of treatments, just for a longer time period.

If any of the above reasons resonate with you or you’re thinking about your own reasons to support these research efforts, please head on over to our fundraising website:

http://www.rundfmc.org/2015/MarkandRachelrunBoston

Also-please head over to our event page! Sips and Sweets for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge is coming together!!

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