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
Last night was the Eaton Vance Rooftop Reception. I cannot express how much I look forward to this annual event. Jeff Beale, and Eaton Vance has hosted this valued event for the Dana-Farber leadership council for 13 years. There are many reasons to enjoy attending but the sole reason I go is because of the intimate setting that allows us to meet with some of Dana-Farber’s magnificent doctors, scientist, nurses and directors that dedicate their life to helping those who have cancer and their families. They speak about their projects, research, treatments and most importantly, their patients with such passion. We have the precious opportunity to ask them questions about them and their work. Their answers consistently amaze us.
It is rare to get an opportunity to personally see how your donations make a difference. Many of their programs and research are solely funded by people like you. They are improving the quality of care, saving lives, and continuing the effort to cure and prevent cancer.
Each year 6 exceptional Dana-Farber professional are invited to speak to us. The forum has 8-12 of us at one of six tables, and each of the speaker rotate to the tables. They have 15 minutes to talk and answer questions. The time always seems too short, but you would be amazed how much is discussed in that time. This year’s guest were amazing. Their stories touched our hearts, made us think and be thankful.
David Barbie is an Assistant Professor in Medicine and specialized in Thoracic Oncology. Dr. Barbie researches novel targets for therapy in lung cancer. He spoke about the advances in drug therapy, especially for non-smokers. His discussion on early screening for cancers and the cost of healthcare was insightful. Dr. Barbie describe himself as both a scientist and doctor, which provides a unique perspective in his research.
Kira Bona is an instructor in Pediatrics specializing in Pediatric Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Bona researches the long-term economic impact of cancer of families of pediatric patients. This is a perspective on how income effects the rate of cancer, the treatment and the continual on going health of the child after treatment. Dr. Bona stated that much of the economic data is not there yet because the information is not collected. They hope to improve this overtime.
Douglas E Brandoff is an instructor in Medicine specializing in Adult Palliative care. Dr. Bandoff directs the Adult Palliative Care Clinic at Dana-Farber. What he does is amazing. It took a few minutes to sink in how important his role is to both the patient and the family. His role is to relieve and prevent the suffering of his patients. It is a job that takes an emotion toll on a person, and we are thankful for people like Dr. Bandoff.
Richard Boyajian is the clinical directory of Dana-Farber’s Survivorship Clinic, where he also serves as a nurse practitioner. Richard Boyajian is also a cancer survivor. He spoke openly about his own experience and the incredible changes in treatment since he was a patient.
Ellen Casey-Magleby is a Program Administrator for Dana-Farber’s Office of Patient and Family Assistance. This program assists patients and their family who are in financial need. The money helps reduce some of the daily living cost while on treatment. These expenses could be transportation, parking or even groceries. Her stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking at times. This program is completely donor funded.
Nikhil Wagle is an Instructor in Medicine specializing in cancer genomics and personalized medicine. Dr. Wagle researches the susceptibility of cancer cells to chemotherapy. He described the advances in identifying cancers in the human genome. Dr. Wagle discussed the ability to identify these in patients early, by taking a tiny sample from prior treatments and test. Standards in patient protocol will help make testing easier in the future.
You can help people like this to continue making great strides again cancer.
Please donate today at http://www.rundfmc.org/2013/patricko
I truly want to thank you for the many calls, texts and emails of overwhelming expression of concern for my safety, and the safety of my family, my Dana-Farber partner, Brendan Barrie, and other close friends. Your thoughts and prayers was heartening during this awful tragedy.
My heart aches for Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi, the many others bombing victims and their families. You will always be a part of me with every run.
At this time there are no significant injuries to my fellow Dana-Farber runners, volunteers, or staff. Sadly, I have heard of a confirmed report of serious injuries to two family members of a Dana-Farber runner. Please keep them in your prayers.
12 seconds. It was the time between hearing the first explosion, questioning if this could actually be a terrorist attack, to hearing the second explosion, confirming your worst nightmare. It was the amount of time you had to process where every one of your love ones are long the 26.2 miles and determine if they are they safe from harm. Staring down Boylston St, moments after the blast, I knew my family was in the center of it all. It wasn’t until 5 p.m. when I knew everyone was safe and I was reunited with my wife.
The magic of the Boston Marathon is not 27,000 runners participating in the world’s oldest annual marathon. It is how 500,000 people complete the marathon together. From Hopkinton to Boston, the marathon route is lined with spectators and volunteers cheering and helping every runner along the way like no other. They have one mission: get you to the finish line. Year after year, they are there for you and they never disappoint. For many of us, we couldn’t imagine running Boston without them. On this day, it seems we are one big family.
Monday, our family was attacked. Although we cannot truly empathize with those, whose love ones where hurt or killed, we mourn with you. I promise, we will keep you in our hearts. I promise, we will demand justice against those responsible for this horrendous and cowardly act. And as I struggle to do something, anything, I promise to run on Patriot’s Day, half a millions strong, for you.
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.
For years, my marathon training plan seemed to have no real purpose except to make sure I ran a certain amount of miles each week. So this year I bought a plan from Runner’s World with a little bit of skepticism. I could not understand how it could be dramatically different than what I have been doing, which was running, but to my surprise, it was different.
Every day over the 16 weeks had a purpose. The plan had easy runs, tempo runs, long slow runs, Yasso’s, strides, fast finishes, hills and more. It also had set paces during these runs. Many of the runs were slower than I would have expected, especially when the goal was to get faster, but I decided to trust the training plan. I found out later that I would have plenty of speed workouts to make up the difference.
One of my new techniques that the plan taught me was the negative split. This method of running is where you run the first half of the race slower than the second half. I have been using it in many of my training runs. I also have tested this technique during the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler and Hyannis ½ marathon with good results.
I plan to run Boston using a negative split. It seems a little overwhelming based on previous marathons. The second half of the marathon has been where I traditionally get tired, and a couple of times have hit the wall. I will have to trust my training and listen to what my body is telling me throughout the run.
It looks like many of you who have been supporting me in my efforts to raise money for Dana-Farber and the Claudia Adams Barr Cancer Research program has also embraced the negative split. This year’s fundraising started slow. I was getting a little concerned around the half-way point that I might not even reach my minimum required amount. Well, we have had a monstrous negative split and during the past 7 days, you have donated almost $2,000. This has pushed me over my goal of $6,000 and looks like I may have over $7,000 if the Company Matching Gifts come in by the marathon.
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!)