On May 9, 2019, against a dusk-lit Boston backdrop, about 100 people gathered at the Royal Sonesta Boston Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They came for the 10th Annual Toast to Our Fundraising Community. Massachusetts General Hospital hosts the event to recognize the many individuals who participate in its BeCause community fundraising program.
In 2018, the BeCause community raised more than $5 million to support the hospital.
One of the youngest BeCause fundraisers to attend was Liam Doherty, a 10-year-old living with Crohn’s disease. An autoimmune and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s currently has no cure. By selling lemonade in his Canton neighborhood, Liam raised $20,000 for IBD/Crohn’s research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), where pediatric gastroenterologist Jess Kaplan, MD has provided Liam and his family with care. “I just believe in Dr. Kaplan,” Liam said, “and if anybody is going to find a cure, it’s Mass General.”
Dr. Kaplan and his team are inspired by Liam’s efforts and continued support: “Liam and his family surprise us every day. Liam is really good at fundraising and we are so very grateful.”
A Biking Community Gives Back
Bruce Taylor, a longtime fundraiser, shared his story at the Toast. Twenty years ago, Bruce and his family learned that their son Alex, then 8, had a brain tumor. They spent a lot of time at MGHfC, where pediatric hematologist-oncologist David Ebb, MD, and his team extended the very best care to Alex and his family.
To give back to Mass General, Bruce co-founded the Granite State Quest bike ride. Since its inception 17 years ago, the ride has raised more than $1.6 million for pediatric cancer research and patient care at Mass General. “Cancer in isolation is unthinkable,” Bruce said. “With family and friends, it is bearable, and with a community, you believe it is something you can beat.”
Alex Taylor did beat his cancer; he graduated from college and is now working at a local pharmacy as a technician.
A Common Thread of Gratitude
Throughout the evening, Britain W. Nicholson, MD, senior vice president for Development at Mass General, personally thanked individual fundraisers for their efforts and impact. In 2018, the BeCause community raised more than $5 million to support the hospital by organizing and participating in events, social gatherings and online campaigns.
“As fundraisers, you all have your own story, and that is one of our program’s greatest assets.”
Speaking from the podium, he underscored the significance of the BeCause program for everyone in the room.
“As fundraisers, you all have your own story, and that is one of our program’s greatest assets,” Dr. Nicholson said. “And yet, even with this diversity, all of you are linked by a common thread of gratitude and generosity. You share the passion and desire to make a difference. You give your time and money, and you get your friends and family members involved. And tonight, I want to reiterate that every gift matters.
“BeCause gets its name from you,” he added. “Because you were inspired by your experience at Mass General and are motivated to act. Because you have a friend or a family member who is battling a disease. Because you want to give back. Because you want to help find a cure. Because you care.”
Celebrate a milestone, honor a loved one, campaign for a cause, thank your medical team… whatever your BeCause may be, it can be a truly meaningful way to support the Mass General mission. Learn more today.