Tagged: DFMC

Making a Difference

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

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Summertime

I have tried my best not to talk about the weather in our blog.  Last year I seemed to be commenting on the cold, snowy, icy, foggy weather conditions in every other entry.  This year, Mother Nature made it easy on me, giving us beautiful training weather all season long.  I guess she is getting the last laugh.  Monday’s weather forecast is in the mid 80’s according to the weather channel.  Some of the local weathermen are calling for even higher temperatures.  I know there is plenty of time for that to change for the better and we all know they get it wrong for time to time, but I’m starting to feed into the hysteria that started early this week with other marathon runners.

I don’t mind running in the heat but never this distance .  In 2010, I participated in a ½ ironman with the temperatures approaching 90, and I don’t remember liking the run too much.  However, part of the reason was because I rode the bike leg too fast for me and didn’t have much left for the run.   Needless to say my energy level was shot and I was a wee bit thirsty.

I have planned for this marathon like no other before.  I knew what pace I would be running at what point in the marathon (at least in theory).  I knew when I would be hydrating and when I would be fueling.  Now it’s back to the drawing board.  One good thing for us DFMC runners is we have Jack Fultz as our coach.  He is the winner of the hottest Boston Marathon on record (I wrote about it in last year’s blog http://dfmc2011.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/jack-fultz/).    I’m sure he will be giving us some last minute tips during Sunday’s pasta dinner.  I’m also hoping maybe Kelly’s cheering team will be on Heartbreak Hill with a big scoop of some Blue Bell ice cream 🙂 (check out Kelly’s fun and insightful blog and story behind Blue Bell http://rightonhereford.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/carb-loading-and-fun-loading/)

So bring your beach balls and sunglasses, and don’t forget the sunscreen.  It’s summertime!

(queue music…Will Smith’s Summertime….)

The Positive of Negative Splits

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.

Thank you!!

Watch Fox 25 Tonight

It’s a wrap!  Brendan and I were interviewed by Nicole Jacobs from Fox 25 this afternoon.  She was doing a segment on Brendan and the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge program.

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!

Poster Party Partie Deux

Hi Brendan,

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!

– Patrick

My First Infographic

Badge of Honor

Hi Brendan,

I’m glad we finally get to head out to Kiku Yama on Friday night. I am looking forward to seeing you and having some Teppanyaki cooking. I hope your appetite is starting to come back, because we will have a lot of food to eat. I don’t know what I am going to have, maybe the Mikado Special?

I had some good training runs last week. The miles were a bit less but the pace was kicked up a notch. On Tuesday night, I ran with other DFMC runners at Tufts University for a speed work out. I tagged along with Jamie, a DFMC runner and fellow blogger. I forgot my watch (which seems to be the theme of the week) and she seemed to be running at the same pace I should be running. Thanks to Jamie, I had a great work out and got to push myself a bit versus running alone.

Thursday I decided to go the Crossroad’s training run. DFMC and other runner’s meet at Crossroad’s for a 9 mile run. We take the T to Woodland Station, near Newton-Wellesley hospital and then run the marathon route back to Boston. Once again, I left my runner’s watch at home. I thought I would feel out some runners to see who run close to the pace I wanted to run. I guess many of the faster runners head out on Thursday because I ended up running with a pair who kept me moving through the hills. I ended up running a lot faster than I planned. Actually, 10 minutes faster. After the run, I drank at least a pitcher of water and had a slice of the free pizza. I was able to meet up with another DFMC runner, triathlete, and fellow blogger, Kelly. Oh, and when she not doing all of that, she is a minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellow at a Boston hospital!

Sunday, Nikki and I ran the Hyannis Half Marathon. Much to everyone’s surprise, I was able to remember my runner’s watch. Both of us were able to have a personal best. We ran with a negative split again. I think I started a little sooner than I wanted too. I had to manage a cramp for the last two miles. I hope to put a plan together to manage Boston; the first 17 miles, the hills and then the final 4.2 miles.

This week was a different story. My adductor injury seems to have gotten worse. For the past couple weeks, I have had sharp pains in the middle of my upper left thigh. I decided to have a sports medicine specialist look at it. They took x-rays and evaluated my leg. The doctor said it may be stress fractures, but doubts that is my problem. He is going to rule that out after a MRI next week. Most likely, he thinks it is a soft tissue injury (and I’m hoping it is too). The good news is if it’s not a stress fracture, I can keep running as long as I can deal with the pain. I have been dealing with it since last march so that’s no problem. For now, he wants me to start physical therapy. That is going to be a problem because I really don’t have any time in my busy schedule, but I guess I’ll have to find some.

Running with DFMC helps me put a reality check with runner’s injuries. They are all self-induced. We could run slower, less often and shorter distances yet still reap the healthy rewards. Most injuries are in our control to prevent. We are proud wearing our pretentious badge of honor. So, I try not to make a big deal of my (seems to be yearly) injuries.  Knowing what you have gone through over the past couple of years, I couldn’t relate. You are the real hero. You have overcome real obstacles. You modestly hide your true badge of honor. You have fought to finish your marathon.   Runners could learn a lot from you.

Can’t wait to see you Friday night!

– Patrick