Brendan sent me a note about his Christmas tradition bringing cheer to the boys and girls on the
Pediatric Oncology Unit at Dana-Farber. I thought I pass it a long….
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope this email finds you all well and healthy. As most of you know, back in December 30, 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer. After a long 26 months of intense chemotherapy, I finished my treatment protocol at Children’s Hospital in Boston- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on February 2, 2012.
My treatment was very hard on me physically, and I spent over 40 days inpatient on 6N, the Pediatric Oncology Unit.
As my first year cancerversary approached, I realized I didn’t want to spend it being depressed with what I have had to go through, but to instead celebrate it by bringing gifts to the kids who find themselves inpatient on December 30th. I decided to invite my whole class to my birthday party that year, and had the boys bring me a gift and the girls, (who out-numbered the boys 2-1), bring an iTunes gift card.
That first year, we donated 20 pillow pets and $300.00 in iTunes gift cards to the kids and it has grown from there. Last year with the added help of my teammates on Babson’s baseball team I was able to collect $1,250.00 in iTunes and amazon gift cards, 30 small pillowpets for the kids and hosted an Ice cream party for the kids of 6N and 6W. This year my goal is $2,000.00 in gift cards and 30 small pillowpets.
We are looking into different ways of becoming a 501(c)3, but as of now we are still NOT a tax-deductible organization.
If you would like to help me reach my goal this year, you can either send a gift card or check to: Brendan Barrie 200 Allandale Rd. Chestnut Hill, Ma. 02467 – Please make any checks payable to Brendan Barrie- or you can bring them to me at school.
Please send Amazon or ITunes gift cards in $10.00, $15.00 or $25.00 values as it is easier to group and we like to keep all the gifts at the same value. Please have donations in by December 23, 2013 so I have time to purchase all the gift bags.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season,
Brendan Barrie and Family
The dynamic duo is back again for another year as part of the DFMC Partner program. The program matches runners with patients in Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Brendan and I are excited about our third year together. Brendan has been healthy and completed his treatment during last year’s marathon season. Our goal this year is to just… “Be a kid again”.
Brendan has been through a lot battling Leukemia. On December 30, 2009 his childhood was placed on hold. It became a world of hospital stays and operations, doctor visits and setbacks, cancer drugs and sickness. Birthday parties, holidays, and playing in the school yard with friends were placed in the backseat of life. Healthy again, Brendan has moved back to life he once knew. Now, when I give him a call to see how things are going, the conversation is full words like “friends”, “video games”, “outside”, and “homework”.
We can be inspired by this. Our problems might not be as tragic as cancer, but life is full of responsibilities and self-levied pressures. It keeps us from enjoying some of the fun things in life. This marathon season I promised myself to find at least few moments to be a kid again.
I was looking at the pictures we took from last Sunday and noticed the Beads of Hope. I was glad that even with all the excitement of the day, you were able to show us your beads. What an amazing way to show your journey while in treatment. I couldn’t believe how big it was. It was taller than you!
Thank you for showing us all the different types of beads and explaining what they represented. There were beads for treatments, operations, hospital stays, and milestones. I loved your favorite bead, Remission.The beads along with the size of the chain show us how much you had to go through during your treatment. It is a little overwhelming when you see it all at once. You should be proud of yourself. You had the strength and courage to get through it.
I think my favorite bead was the one you received just a little over a month ago. The bead which represents that you have successfully finished treatment.Have a fun Easter! (…and eat lots of candy too!)
Nicole was great and made it nice an easy for all of us. She started by interviewing Brendan. What a super star! He looked a professional. Brendan’s parents, Scott and Alexis then start down with Nicole for a bit to discuss Brendan and his treatments over the past couple of years. They wanted a few running shots, so they had me head outside for a few running shots before that sat me in front of the camera. I’ve run hundreds of miles this training season, none as self-conscience as that few strides.
We can’t wait to see how it came out. Let us know what you think!
How are you feeling? Hopefully that appetite of yours is starting to kick in finally. Thank you for the email about Nicole Jacobs. She said to tell Brendan thanks for remembering! Nicole will be contacting your mom in the next week or so.
I am excited that this past week is over. It was the toughest week of the training season. I ran 60 miles during the week, something I’ve never done before. Except for finding the time to do all that running, it wasn’t too bad. My muscles, joints, and bones are ready for some tapering but I have one more week before I can easy up. I think I’ll have 250 miles recorded for the end of this month. I didn’t think I’d ever run that much. You are a good inspiration!
I wanted to see how far 60 miles is from Boston, so I Goggled it. I found and article about a mile marker in Spencer Massachusetts. This marker is is along the Boston Post road which was laid out by Ben Franklin in 1753 when he was Deputy Post Master General for the Northern Colonies. He ordered the that the stones be placed to regulate postal rates. This milestone is inscribed “60 Miles From Boston” The stone is located just to the west of one of the entry roads to a cemetery. The stone is a contributing object in the 1767 Milestones Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Sunday, Nikki and I ran with the L Street Running Club. The bussed us out the Natick and we ran back to South Boston. It was a scheduled 20 mile run but Nikki’s plan was to run 22 and I needed 23 miles. The weather forecast was for the low 40’s with off and on rain showers. We prepared for the worst. A few years back, I ran the same course with the same weather conditions (there was a little stronger headwind). Many of the runners, including myself were close to hyperthermia. That was something I did not want to repeat. This time the running gods were kind to us. The first drops did not fall until the last runner finished.
Both of us had a good run. It is a real confidence builder, especially for novice runners. You get to feel the distance, figure out your fueling plan, and practice managing your pace. Nikki brought her phone with her because she knew with the extra miles added on, she would be one of the last runners on the course. She did great! She even took some pictures all the way.
Take care, and I’ll see you in a week or two!
I had so much fun on Saturday at the Poster Party with you. I think we did a pretty good job this year. Your mom saved the day with the re-positional letters. Not only where they better than drawing each letter by hand, we saved a lot of time.
I think my favorite decorations were the hamburger and fried stickers that you brought. They were so cool! I can’t wait to see the finished product at the pasta party on April 15th.
I can’t believe how many fellow DFMC runners know who you. You are like a rock star! So many people after the run were telling me to say “Hello” to Brendan for me. I was able to talk to a few of them for a bit, and they were so happy to hear how well the past couple of months have gone for you. At the time, I didn’t even know you have been removed from precautions; so even more great news.
Two of your biggest fans ask me about you every time I run into them. They are Jan Ross and Jack Fultz. Both work hard making the DFMC possible so people like us can team up for such an awesome event like the Boston Marathon (and to raise money to help doctors and scientist make cancer an endangered species!). Even with their busy schedule, they take the time to hear the stories and get know everyone involved, including you.
One of the many reason why I wanted to get involved with Dana-Farber was a night back in May 2010. Nikki invited me to come to a Dana-Farber Leadership Council meeting hosted by Eaton Vance in Boston. When I got there, I was given a name tag with a number on it. The number represented which table I was to sit. There were 6 tables. Also attending the meeting were 6 Dana-Farber doctors leading various research initiatives.
I sat at my table with 9 others and the first doctor sat down and discussed who they were and what type of cancer research they were doing. After 10 minutes we had an additional 10 minutes to ask any questions we wanted before a bell would ring and the doctors would rotate tables.
Time, money, ideas, politics, beliefs, egos, education all seem to be both roadblocks and catalysts for cancer research. The one thing that was consistent with each doctor that spoke with us, was their commitment to their cause. These people were the 1%. Not the 1% percent that has been in the news lately over Wall St. They was the gifted men and women who will discovery the next cancer treatment, vaccine and lifesaver. But they realize that they can’t act alone. They need 100% of us to be apart of the solution.
You are probably wondering how this all relates to you and the DFMC. Brendan, you are the bright star in the sky leading us. Your strength during your ordeal and willingness to share it with all of us makes me want work with Dana-Farber. It empowers people like Jan, Jack and others to create opportunities like the DFMC. It drives the doctors and scientists to find the answers to the why, what and how of cancers.
So buddy, shine on!