By Casey Reis
On August 20, more than 325 participants laced up on behalf of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to compete in the ASICS Falmouth Road Race, stretching seven miles along the scenic Cape Cod coastline. The seaside race, established in 1973, has become one of the premier running events of the summer in New England, attracting runners from all over the globe. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund serve as the official Legacy Partner of the Falmouth Road Race charity program, Numbers for Nonprofits. This year, runners from Dana-Farber’s Falmouth Road Race team raised more than $1 million, propelling the team’s cumulative fundraising total since 2003 to an incredible $10 million. Donations raised through the longstanding partnership help advance Dana-Farber’s mission to reach the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.
This year’s race was particularly significant for Meryl Summers, who ran Falmouth for the first time in honor of her daughter Adelia, a pediatric patient in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Inspired by the 7-year-old’s strength, determination, and resilience, Meryl runs in hopes that the funds raised will bring physician-scientists closer to finding a cure.
“Participating in the Falmouth Road Race is much more than running a race,” says Meryl. “It’s about elevating awareness for pediatric brain cancer, showing unity and support for Adelia, and raising crucial funds for clinical trials. There is a large gap between a breakthrough in a lab and getting the treatments into the bodies of patients. Our contribution will hopefully reduce this gap and make trials available for everyone.”
“Dana-Farber has given us a team of amazing doctors and so much hope for Adelia’s future,” Meryl continues. “We have never felt luckier to live close to Boston and the best treatments in the country.”
Mary Waltuck—who recently celebrated her 75th birthday—also ran Falmouth with the Dana-Farber team for the first time this year. Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32 and runs in honor of her own cancer journey, and for her stepdaughter, Sandy, who moved to New England from Texas to be closer to Dana-Farber, where Sandy is currently in treatment for her own breast cancer diagnosis.
“I am the beneficiary of all the financial support that’s been given, all the research that has been done, and all those who work tirelessly every day to find a cure for this beast,” says Mary. “As a Dana-Farber runner, I hope in some small way to help provide support and resources to others battling cancer.”