Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.
Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

Dana-Farber recruits largest B.A.A. Half Marathon® team to date

Team Nick Strong poses together on race morning.

Spring 2024
By Kayla McMahon
Photography by Bryce Vickmark

The 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon® was a race to remember, with 650 participants running Sunday, Nov. 12, to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s race toward a cancer-free future. Members of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund’s team came from 29 states and 5 countries to conquer this crisp, 13.1-mile fall run through Boston’s Franklin Park and Emerald Necklace Park System. Each participant beamed with pride, knowing that they had a hand in raising more than $767,000 to advance research and care for cancer patients everywhere.

Jennifer Gaspar (right) with her sister-in-law, Jessica Gaspar, after the 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon®.

Many team members run and fundraise with Dana-Farber’s team because they themselves have been affected by cancer or are looking to honor a loved one who has been impacted by this terrible disease. Some fundraise as individuals, while others, like Team Nick Strong, fundraise as a group within Dana-Farber’s charity team. Team Nick Strong was created in 2022 to honor Nick Gaspar, a 15-year-old patient in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic who was fighting brain cancer. Sadly, Nick passed away in May 2023, but his mother, Jennifer Gaspar, returned this season with her sister-in-law, Jessica Gaspar, and 41 other runners who raised over $59,000 in Nick’s memory.

“This was my first half marathon and first race ever,” said Jessica. “Witnessing the impressive turnout and seeing the funds raised in Nick’s honor fills me with great joy. Nick would undoubtedly take pride in our achievements.” The Gaspar family, along with all of Dana-Farber’s 2023 B.A.A. Half Marathon runners, are eager to continue to raise funds that will help find cures for all cancers. “Running has helped me through some of the hardest days,” said Nick’s mother, Jennifer. “Whenever I want to give up, I think of Nick and how he never quit. I hope to continue to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer so that someday kids can just be kids, without cancer.”

“I hope to continue to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer so that someday kids can just be kids, without cancer.”

Jennifer Gaspar
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