Today, instead of my normal Teacher Tuesday post, I wanted to share a little bit about why I’m choosing to run with a charity team for the Boston Marathon, and why I chose the specific charity team that I did. I was offered spots on other teams this year, but I chose to run and fundraise for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for a very specific reason.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I never take the easy way out. Whether it’s a sewing project or a marathon, I never see obstacles as impassable; I see them as adventures and future stories to tell. When I was 18, my routine pre-college checkup took a turn for the very un-routine when my pediatrician noticed a lump in my neck, right on my thyroid. I was referred to a series of specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and was eventually diagnosed with malignant follicular carcinoma.
It was July of 2007; I’d just graduated high school, and was set to go away to college the following month. I’d worked hard to get into college, and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like cancer get in the way. In a pre-op appointment, I boldly told my doctor “I’m going to college on the 16th of August, so you’ll need to schedule all my treatments before then.” To my delight he nodded, smiled, and worked with me so that I could achieve my goal. I was able to go off to college on time, and my doctors back at BWH in Boston communicated regularly with my university’s health services office to keep me on the road to recovery.
My health has been anything but simple in the last decade, but my team of medical professionals at BWH has supported me every step of the way. While other doctors might have suggested that I slow down, aim lower, and prepare for the worst case scenario, my team at the Brigham has always always respected and believed in my dreams. They’ve problem solved around my goals, and helped me to become the best, strongest version of myself. Since my surgery I’ve been able to earn two degrees, run eleven half marathons, one full marathon, and go on so, so many adventures.
The Brigham is where I’ve sought out and received amazing treatment for my own health issues, sure, but it’s also somewhere where my whole family feels safe, no matter what injury, illness, or accident has befallen us. It’s where my nieces were born, it’s where my mother won her own battle with breast cancer, and it’s where my big brother’s hand got put back together.
I am so, so, SO excited to be running with the BWH Stepping Strong Marathon Team this April. Running the Boston Marathon is a dream for so many runners, and running it for a hospital that has done so much for me personally is incredibly meaningful. Every dollar I raise goes to support the The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s, a place where innovation fuels treatment for people facing life-altering traumatic injuries. Just as BWH has been a supportive safety net for me in some of my most challenging medical moments, the Stepping Strong Center provides hope for patients by offering the most up-to-date treatments. Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope on this Giving Tuesday, you’ll consider donating to this amazing hospital:)