family and friends,
2002 will probably
go down as the “year of change” in my book. I went back
to school part-time for my MBA in January, then got engaged in February.
Tom and I moved to an apartment in Somerville upstairs from one
of his best friends in July, who quickly adopted my beloved cat,
Skye, in deference to Tom’s allergies. We then capped off
the year by adopting an adorable, but rambunctious puppy, now named
Maddie, from the Boston City Shelter just after Christmas. Skye,
who was allowed to visit us upstairs for a few minutes every now
and then, is not entirely pleased with the turn of events—surprisingly,
she tolerates our landlord’s huge German Shepard far more
than the puppy!
A few things
remained consistent. In April, I ran the 106th Boston Marathon for
the fifth time, a major milestone among runners for Dana-Farber,
particularly to those of us who were never “runners”
per se growing up, but simply stubborn enough to not know when to
stop (until 26.2 miles later). Tom met me once again at Heartbreak
Hill and relished his role as the eight-mile taskmaster. There’s
nothing worse than running with a guy who takes such glee in passerbyers
telling him “good job” and “keep it up”
as he jogs backwards, fresh as a daisy after just two or three miles,
all while encouraging me to reach mile 21, 22, 23… Needless
to say, when I returned for the Jimmy Fund Walk in September to
walk the entire marathon course for the fourth year with Brittany’s
family, I made sure that Tom’s role was limited to working
a water stop at mile one! We called it even in October at the fourth
annual Black Cat Classic 5K in memory of Brittany, when the race
resulted in record participants, record fundraising and record fun.
At one point,
given all the change, I had been considering taking the year off
from the Boston Marathon. After all, between working a full-time
job, occasionally a second job on Saturdays, going to school part-time,
planning a wedding and accustoming myself to actually having to
do laundry once a week (rather than when it occurred to me), maybe
this was the year to take a break.
overcoming and defeating cancer has not yet changed for good. At
the beginning of the summer, the mother of one of my best friends
suffered a relapse of her breast cancer. A month later, a good friend,
Rob, with whom I used to work, succumbed to a three-year battle
with Ewings Sarcoma, just days before his 31st birthday. Finally,
just before Labor Day, Amber, the daughter of one of Tom’s
best friends, was diagnosed with leukemia just a few weeks before
her fourth birthday. I quickly changed my mind.
Over the past
five years, you have helped me to raise more than $31,000 for cancer
research at Dana-Farber, and I want to thank you for your never-ending
support, whether financial or emotional. I hope that you will consider
contributing this year. 100% of your tax-deductible donation funds
Barr Program researchers at Dana-Farber, ensuring novel approaches
in basic cancer research. While a cure was not found in time for
Brittany or Rob, I know that the researchers that we are supporting
today will eventually find one for Amber and my friend’s mother.
Thank you for your support and encouragement!