Heather's 2008 marathon letter

Dear family and friends,

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I know many of you question my sanity when I tell you how much fun running is! But here I am, eleven years of stepping to the starting line on the third Monday in April, running the 112th Boston Marathon as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.

The past decade can be described in so many ways: grueling, inspiring, challenging, humbling…. But most of all: fun. And throughout those years, you have fueled my fire and helped me to raise nearly $80,000 for cancer research at Dana-Farber. Thank you for your support and encouragement!

As one of the more long-standing veterans of the DFMC team (nearly a dozen of us last year running for our tenth consecutive year), I have had the amazing privilege to visit Dana-Farber on numerous occasions and meet with doctors, researchers and patients. It is on this frontline that I can see firsthand how important our fundraising efforts are in the search for a cure.

Last night, I heard from a woman not much older than I. She is married, has a successful career, a happy marriage and two young children. And she has brain cancer.

Normally a private person, she shared with us the shock of the diagnosis. She underwent intensive chemotherapy and radiation, including a drug that just five years ago was not available to brain cancer patients. She has exhausted all current treatments and is now waiting for the next drug to be approved. Imagine living your life wondering if the drug that could save you will arrive in time.

Over the past decade, you have read about friends I have lost, treatments that didn’t arrive in time, and about those who survived and continued to flourish. I hope that by sharing my personal stories, as did this young woman last night, I have shown just how critical your continued support is -- and why I will continue to run and run.

Please take a few minutes today to visit my website and support my 11th marathon run. 100% of your tax-deductible donation funds Barr Program researchers at Dana-Farber, ensuring novel approaches in basic cancer research.

With thanks and appreciation,

PS: As I have every year, I will be wearing the names of your loved ones, cancer victims and survivors, on my marathon-day singlet to spur me forward. Be sure to send me an email at hkispert@alum.wellesley.edu so I can include them.

Read 2007 marathon letter
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Read 2009 marathon letter

Last updated on April 9, 2009 .
Any problems, contact Heather.