Last Day to Make a Difference for the Jimmy Fund

jordan

For those of who not from New England, you may not be familiar with the Jimmy Fund.  The Jimmy Fund is an annual fundraising drive for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston – an institution that treats — and cures — children with cancer.

I was fortunate enough to be at the Jimmy Fund game two years ago when a cancer survivor, Jordan Leandre, bravely and spontaneously ran the bases on two legs that, years before, were ravaged by cancer.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  If you want to see an emotional video, give this click – and have some Kleenex handy.  The lump-in-your-throat moment is at about 1:58 in the video.

At the game, I distinctly remember a barrage of emotional sights like a little girl held up a sign that said, simply, “Today, I am 8 years old.  Thank you.”

I have a variety of emotions about this issue.  First and foremost, I am beyond grateful that I have two healthy children and have not had to endure every parent’s worst nightmare.

On the other hand, In 2003, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.  We were were incredibly fortunate to have her treated at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown Hospital.  When you are caring for cancer patient, the nasty secret that you are not told is that your biggest, demonic opponent is waiting – waiting while your loved ones are in treatment, waiting for test results, waiting to see is the latest course of therapy was effective.  Waiting.

This ties into the above because the main waiting area at the Lombardi Cancer Institute is directly across an atrium from the childrens’ cancer treatment center.  While waiting — there’s that word again — I cannot tell you how many bald, sickly children I saw being carried in for treatment by a parent anguished by facing a nightmare of unspeakable proportions.

My mother did not survive, but in a strange way, people who are older and smoke their whole lives are, in cosmic sense, supposed to die. Children, who are programmed to laugh, to love unconditionally, are not.  Ever.

In the past, I have been involved in the St. Balrick’s Foundation as well as Doug Haslam’s recent PanMass bike ride challenge.  But everything is second fiddle to me to the Jimmy Fund.

I won’t drone on about giving a donation;  that’s up to you.  But what I can say is that the telephone donation line is 877-738-1234 and the Web site is here.  This year’s goal is a whopping five million dollars.  As of this morning, they are at $1.6 million.  That’s a lot of ground to make up.  But as I write this, people with buckets are in position all over New England.  WEEI and NESN, the Red Sox flasgship stations, is broadcasting non-stop.  Generous people from all over the country are making whatever donation, small or large, that they can.

And you can too.

Mark

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