Hello friends! For the second year in a row, I am running the Boston Marathon with Boston Children's Hospital Miles for Miracles team. As many of you know, this is a cause that is extremely personal to my family. My niece, Henley, was taken to Children's when she was only several weeks old. Her heart eventually completely failed, and she was hospitalized on a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) called a Berlin Heart, which kept her alive in the hopsital while she awaited a transplant. She has spent a tragic amount of her young life hospitalized at Children's, but multiple major surgeries--including a heart transplant--later, she is now at home, doing great, about to celebrate her second birthday and start nursery school in the fall. Without the incredible care she received at Children's, including world-class practioners and medical technology available very few other places, she almost certainly would not have survived.
This year, the fundraising is particularly near and dear to our hearts, as all funds raised will go directly to the VAD Program, which is run by Henley's main cardiologist, Christina VanderPlyum. This program is critical to ensuring that kids like Henley can survive to transplant. VAD Center research has contributed to significant and life saving gains for patients like Henley, including with the use of the Berlin Heart specifically. Dr. VanderPlyum continuously challenges the status quo of care, and fiercely advocates for her patients. Once a patient enters into her world, she is committed to ensuring that this patient has an amazing quality of life.
The 2021 marathon is scheduled for October. After being delayed and finally canceled due to the pandemic, the 2020 race was eventually made virtual, and I ran it here on the North Shore in Massachusetts. We set up the finish line at Henley's house, and my sister Janna (Henley's mom) ran the last two miles of the race with me. I was able to raise over $50,000 last year, and we are going to match that and raise another $50,000 this marathon season. Please help us support this lifesaving work that has touched my family so significantly by donating today. Every little bit helps us reach our goal.
More info. on the VAD program and Dr. VanderPlyum here: