I've joined the Miles for Miracles team because of my nephew, Oliver "Bear" Donovan, and countless kids like him. Bear is thirteen, and his childhood has been interrupted, turned completely upside down. In early September, 2023, Bear was diagnosed with an ameloblastoma, a type of tumor in his jaw that can be complicated and aggressive. More specifically, doctors have discovered the presence of BRAF+ cell mutations that can spread, and though the tumor thankfully isn't considered malignant, he is being treated in the same way as a cancer diagnosis. Having completed his first cycle of targeted chemotherapy, Bear will continue with 1-2 more cycles at Dana Farber before scheduled surgery at BCH this winter.
Ultimately, his story will be one of triumph; I'm certain of this. If we can learn anything from our children, it is that they are supremely resilient, and in Bear's case, his grit is matched by an inspiring work ethic. The boy logs countless hours on any basketball hoop he can find. He's the kind of young athlete whom you can tell, even at an early age, will go as far as he wants to go.
To get there, and more immediately, come out on the other side of these procedures and lengthy rehabilitation, Bear and his family are blessed to have the incredible care of a team at Boston Children's Hospital. The angst and worry that his parents feel (Bear, too, though you wouldn't know it) is tempered knowing they have a world-class team with my nephew every step of the way. My own gratitude for BCH is endless, and running 26.2 to help raise funds so they can continue to offer that care and support for countless kids is the least I can do.
Every dollar I raise funds the very best medical care, breakthrough research and vital support services for sick kids and their families. Your gift will:
- help children from your town and across the world get a second chance at life;
- give kids battling the most complex diseases care they can't find anywhere else;
- fuel 3,000+ researchers working to develop new treatments and cures;
- support patient programs, like music and art therapy, to let kids be kids, even during long hospital stays;
- help patient families in crisis with urgent needs, such as food, clothing and housing;
- deliver the most compassionate, leading-edge care to every child who needs it.
If you know me, you know that I run. Sometimes, pretty far. I get to choose to do hard things, and I'm blessed to have that choice. But these kids don't always get that choice. My nephew didn't have a say in the cards that were dealt to him, but he will win. This boy has moxie.
I am immensely grateful for your support of Boston Children's Hospital, and I know Bear and countless other children and families will deeply appreciate your generosity. Every contribution is meaningful, and together, we can help children like Bear triumph over adversity and get back to doing what they do best: being kids.