North End residents Emily Watson, Kathleen Splaine, Lindsay Lavin, Zachary Melnick, Robyn Olson, Karly Murphy, Erin Merritt, Tess Regan, Meghan Weiler, and Jennifer Murphy are running to conquer cancer as members of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team in the 124th Boston Marathon.
The runners, along with more than 500 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge teammates, will run Massachusetts’ historic marathon route from Hopkinton to Boston to raise $6.25 million for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
This year marks the 31st annual running of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC). One hundred percent of the money raised by the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team goes to Dana-Farber’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, which supports promising science research in its earliest stages. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge has raised more than $100 million for the Claudia Adams Barr Program to date.
In 1990, Dana-Farber was among the first charity organizations to be recognized by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A), which organizes the Boston Marathon. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team offers its members extensive fundraising support, training guidance from 1976 Boston Marathon men’s champion Jack Fultz, and Boston-area training runs, plus volunteer opportunities for non-runners. Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners who are not time-qualified for the Boston Marathon receive an invitational entry into the race.
Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners include cancer survivors and patients, and family and friends of those who have been affected by cancer. Each team member must fulfill a basic fundraising commitment:
- Invitational runners, runners who receive their entry from Dana-Farber, have a fundraising commitment of $7,500.
- Own entry runners, runners who have joined the DFMC after obtaining their own race entry, have a fundraising commitment of $4,000.
A cornerstone of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge is its Partner Program. Each year, approximately 50 current pediatric cancer patients of Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic are paired with DFMC runners as “Patient Partners.” For the young patients, their partnerships with the runners provide a unique and friendly focus outside their illnesses. Another two dozen Partner Program families are paired with runners through the “In-Memory Program” in remembrance of their children.
To contribute to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, visit RunDFMC.org or contact the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge office at (617) 632-1970 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow DFMC on Facebook: www.facebook/marathonchallenge. On Twitter: #RunDFMC.