The Boston Marathon is an amazing event for so many reasons. Not only is it an opportunity for athletes to showcase their strength and resilience, but it’s also a chance for the people of Boston and spectators from out of town to show their utter and complete love for the city, and its runners.
In addition to being a showcase of some of the world’s most powerful athletes, the Boston Marathon is also an incredible opportunity to raise awareness and money for life-changing causes, charities, and organizations. From research institutes that fund important cancer research and treatment initiatives, to hospitals with a mission of transforming outcomes for individuals who have suffered from traumatic injuries, many runners are out there not only chasing PRs, but their own personal finish line — like a world without cancer, or a better life for trauma survivors.
To learn more about some of the amazing charities and programs aligned with The Boston Marathon, I found six runners ready to toe the line in Hopkinton on Monday who are running for so much more than themselves. Check out their stories below to get inspired — and consider making a donation to their preferred charity or organization.
Kevin Walther: Stepping Strong, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
“I was inspired to run my first Boston Marathon in 2016 after witnessing year over year the spirit and determination of countless runners with medical challenges. Following the marathon bombing, I wanted to give back in some way and found Brigham & Women’s Hospital. The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation does incredible work to fuel trauma and care research that is truly saving lives. Can’t wait for another 26.2 in Boston!
Fundraising page here
Andrew Gorman: Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge
This is my third year running for Boston for DFMC. I’ve raised ~$40k for cancer research in the past, and the team consistently raises $5+ million. I run and fundraise in memory of my mother-in-law Maryellen, my grandfather William, and in honor of several of my friends who have battled cancer. One hundred percent of every dollar raised goes to cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, one of the top cancer centers in the country.
Fundraising page here (~$300 short of $13,100 goal)
Amanda Ordway: Boston Medical Care
Running the Boston Marathon has been at the TOP of my bucket list for over 13 years. I honestly envied all the runners when I saw them walking around the weekend before with their Marathon jackets, or even when they are bundled up in those aluminum foil blankets after crossing the finish line. Seeing someone complete something that takes so much time, dedication, hard work, and perseverance, it’s just incredible. I wanted to be one of those people that I’ve looked up to. I wanted to push myself and see myself accomplish something so big! This year, I’m running on behalf of Boston Medical Centre. BMC is a truly remarkable hospital, and your support goes directly towards helping them continue to provide exceptional care, without exception to anyone who walks through their doors. For the past 15 years, Boston Medical Center has proudly participated in Boston’s historic marathon, raising more than $4.7 million for the hospital.
Fundraising page here ($3,029 short of $10,000 goal)| @Arordway
*Amanda will be getting a custom race kit from adidas and The Woolmark company. The Woolmark Company contributed $5,000 to this runners’ charity program.
Joe Dusseldorp, Mass Eye and Ear
My name is Joe Dusseldorp, I am a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from Sydney, Australia, working at the Mass Eye and Ear in Boston. I have been inspired by the life-changing research taking place here. Much of this is possible due to generous donations given to the Mass Eye and Ear marathon team.
I am a first-time marathon runner, and training for a marathon in Boston has been cold! So I am hoping to find supporters to help me fundraise to help Mass Eye and Ear reach its goals. One of my personal goals is to help to find a cure for children born without one or both ears. This condition known as microtia has no known cures and treatments vary around the world.
A Swiss company, Auregen Biotherapeutics, headquartered in Boston, is developing the ability to 3D print a patient’s missing ear using their own cartilage cells. Auregen has kindly offered to match any donations so that any donations I receive can go twice as far.
Danielle Maccini, Boston Medical Center
If you had asked me a year ago if I could run the Boston Marathon, I would have laughed it off! Never in a million years would I think I’d be ready to take off in single digit days to run my first marathon, let alone the coveted Boston Marathon. But here I am!
My journey began a little over a year ago: I had the chance to work on a local film surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. I was hired as an actor, but the company also made a point to bring in real marathon runners as well as people who were there in 2013! Of course I knew what happened, but to hear these first-hand accounts truly opened my eyes! It blew my mind! The way these people described the running community and Marathon Monday was like nothing I had heard of before. I knew I needed to experience this for myself.
Fast forward to the 2017 Boston marathon, where I spent my first time actually watching and being a part of the crowd, and it was truly remarkable. That day I made a promise to myself that I needed to run this race.
I committed to two things:
1. To raise some money and awareness for an amazing charity,
2. To cross that finish line! I’ve always been really active but never a runner, so to pull his off I knew I would have to work really hard. Through my journey I’ve not only grown stronger but I’ve met some incredible people, inspired others, and truly made a difference for my charity Boston Medical Center. Now all that’s left is race day, and with so many people backing me I’m ready to take it on!
Fundraising page here | $719 short of $10,000 goal| @heyitsd123
*Danielle will be getting a custom race kit from adidas and The Woolmark company. The Woolmark Company contributed $5,000 to this runners’ charity program.
Malinda Ann Hill, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer
My twin Leah and I deemed ourselves Twins Run in Our Family so we could share our experiences running together to raise awareness and funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. I am running Boston in memory of Leah’s brother-in-law and our grandmother, both of whom died of cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott who died of neuroblastoma in 2004. Alex’s Lemonade Stand is very close to my heart since I’m the bereavement coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where Alex was treated. By age eight, Alex had raised $1 million for cancer research. As of today, the foundation has raised $150 million for cancer research. I am motivated by how Alex achieved so much in her short life. Her legacy lives on and continues to inspire others to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.
Fundraising page here | $395 short of $1,000 goal