Cancer survivor preps for marathon

Runners from around the world are lacing up their sneakers, preparing to run in the Boston Marathon this April – including 700 runners on the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge Team.

Tim and Kirsten O’Neill stopped by “The Rhode Show” on Monday morning to chat about their upcoming run, and why it is such an important cause.

Learn more about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge:


• Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) runners from across the country and the world will run the 118th Boston Marathon® on April 21, with a goal of raising $5.3 million for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
• There are more than 700 runners on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
• This year marks the 25th annual running of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.
• Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge has raised more than $61 million since its inception in 1990, thanks to the support of the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) charity program, which gives official Boston Marathon® entries to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge and other charitable organizations.
• Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team members must meet one of the basic fundraising commitments:
-Invitational runners (runners who receive their race entry from Dana-Farber) have a basic fundraising commitment of $4,000.
-Own entry runners (runners who have joined the DFMC after obtaining their own race entry) have a basic fundraising commitment of $3,500.
• Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners include cancer survivors and patients, and family and friends of those who have been affected by cancer. Runners of all abilities, including some who are time-qualified to compete in the Boston Marathon®, participate with the goal to help put an end to cancer.
• The Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research was founded by Dana-Farber Trustees Delores Barr Weaver and her husband, Wayne, in 1987 to honor Mrs. Weaver’s mother, who lost her battle with cancer 30 years earlier.
• One hundred percent of the money raised by the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team goes directly to fund the research of the Barr Program investigators. The Barr Program supports cornerstone science research in its earliest stages, providing researchers with critical resources to test their leading-edge ideas. Findings from Barr program research can provide novel clinical insights as well as the results necessary to seek additional federal funding.
• The Barr Program has funded more than 200 Barr investigators since its establishment in 1987.
• Jack Fultz, the 1976 Boston Marathon® men’s champion, has served as the team’s training advisor since the DFMC’s inception 25 years ago.
• The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Patient Partner Program is a cornerstone of the event. Approximately 50 current and former pediatric cancer patients of Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic are paired with Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners.
• The children serve as special motivation for the runners. For the young patients, their partnerships with Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners provide a unique and friendly focus outside their illnesses.
• Within the B.A.A. charity program, the partner program concept originated with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.
• The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge is one of many ways runners can support the lifesaving mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Participants can run on an official Dana-Farber team, or run in any race, of any distance, in any city, while raising funds for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. For more information visit
• To contribute to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, go online to or contact the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge office at (617) 632-1970 or Follow DFMC on Facebook: www.facebook/marathonchallenge. On Twitter: #dfmc25

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