One hospital. Three teams.
On April 20, 103 runners laced up their sneakers and donned their Brigham tanks to complete the 119th Boston Marathon for causes close to their hearts.
Members of BWH’s Life.Giving.Breakthroughs. and Stepping Strong Marathon teams trained through rain, sleet and an abundance of snow and raised more than $750,000 to transform the future of medicine for patients and families in Boston and around the world. Running to Remember Dr. Michael J. Davidson team runners—most of whom were friends and colleagues of the late BWH cardiac surgeon Michael Davidson, MD—formed the team earlier this year to run in their friend’s memory and honor his legacy at BWH. The team raised more than $82,000, all of which will go to the Davidson Family Fund, which supports the four children of Davidson and his wife, Terri Halperin, MD—Kate, Liv, Graham and Mikaela.
Ty Velde, who was part of the Life. Giving. Breakthroughs. team, ran to give back to the hospital that saved his newborn son’s life almost seven years ago. He beat his personal goal of 3 hours and 15 minutes by a few minutes, despite Monday’s rain and cold temperatures. He said he was inspired by Gillian Reny’s encouraging words at a pasta dinner held for Brigham Marathon runners the night before. Reny, a 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor, received life-saving care at BWH after the bombings and established the Stepping Strong Foundation and Marathon team with her family to fuel innovative research and clinical programs to advance trauma healing.
“She told us to ‘step strong,’ and I kept using that as my mantra to stay motivated throughout the Marathon,” said Velde.
Sarah Wolter, a former NICU baby, also ran for the Life. Giving. Breakthroughs. team and says she enjoyed feeling the spirit of the city on such a special day. It was her third time running the Boston Marathon. In 1989, her father ran as part of Team Stork to support BWH and the NICU.
Charles Nyman, MD, associate director of Interventional Cardiac Anesthesiology, and Danny Muehlschlegel, MD, MMSc, director of Cardiovascular Anesthesia Research, ran for their friend Davidson and described feeling highs and lows during the race.
“The outpouring of support was phenomenal,” said Nyman. “It is a testament to how much Mike meant to the Brigham family.”
Derek Hibbard, part of the Life. Giving. Breakthroughs. team, ran to support innovation at BWH. His mother died from cancer when he was a teenager, so he was inspired to support a cause that will hopefully one day find a cure, said his wife Lesley Solomon, MBA, Brigham Innovation Hub executive director.
“It was great to be part of a team that was there supporting me all the way,” said Hibbard.
Since 1998, BWH has raised more than $6.6 million through its Marathon program, making a difference in the lives of patients and families for generations to come.