Residents signed up this year’s Jimmy Fund Walk
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So far, five residents are registered to complete the 35th annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai on Sunday, October 1.
The Jimmy Fund, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge and the Variety Children's Charity of New England. The fund works to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
One of those fundraising methods is the Jimmy Fund Walk.
Wareham’s Janet Kelly, 62, along with the rest of team “Crush Cancer” will complete the half marathon from Wellesley.
Twelve years ago, Kelly completed her first Jimmy Fund Walk, which was a full marathon.
Participants of the Walk can choose their distance on a pre-established route or join virtually on a path of their choice.
Kelly said she was encouraged by friends and it felt like an “important cause.”
However, in 2017, Kelly completed the walk for the first time with someone specific in mind — her son, Andy Kelly, had just been diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 27.
Kelly said the type of leukemia he had was typically seen in people 60 years or older, but to be diagnosed at his age wasn’t all that uncommon.
She added the treatment for his type of cancer was “very, very intense.”
She said she and her family put together teams to support him — raising approximately $8,000 — and in 2018 he was able to walk six miles himself.
This year the Walk aims to raise $9 million for cancer research. The minimum participant commitment is $330.
“They sometimes say, ‘If cancer doesn't get you, the cure will,’ and we've had a lot of setbacks with the treatments and stuff like that,” Kelly said. “So it was tough, but there's a lot of people out there facing issues and we're just going at it every year to help show support.”
In addition, she said in 2018, “My back was loaded with other people's names because it's not just about us. It's about everybody out there who's fighting against this.”
Kelly said she has always been an athletic person, so preparing for her first walk was not too much of an adjustment.
She added, “If you can do eight miles, you can do 13 with all the spirit and all the cheering and all that's going on. It really motivates you.”
Along with Kelly, Wareham’s Marcia Campbell, Elizabeth Kressler, Sally Damata and Marilyn Johnson are also completing the Walk this year.
Kelly said, “It's only a few weeks away, so very exciting, and we’re hoping for good weather.”
For more information on how to register for the walk or to donate, visit danafarber.jimmyfund.org.
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