For the Four Seasons Run of Hope in Boston, the number 36 serves as something of an inspiration. That is the number of children diagnosed with cancer every day. Thanks to advances in medical research and treatments, the cure rate for childhood cancer is now 75-80%. Even with this incredible progress, childhood cancer is responsible for the deaths of more children and teenagers than any other disease. Through a unique partnership with the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, Mass General Hospital for Children is working to ensure the best possible outcomes for children being treated for cancer with the Four Seasons Run of Hope, an annual run-walk to directly benefit pediatric cancer care and research.
In 1980, Isadore Sharp, the founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, became inspired by Toronto running legend Terry Fox’s “Marathon of Hope,” a run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Having lost his own 17-year-old son to cancer the previous year, Sharp ensured that this philanthropic mission was taken up by his company’s hotels and resorts around the world. The Four Seasons has since raised over $600 million to annually benefit local cancer research and care facilities.
Since 1987, the Four Seasons Boston has raised over $1 million through the Run of Hope.
Since 1987, the Four Seasons Boston has raised over $1 million through the Run of Hope. The event includes a 5k run, a 2k walk and a 50-yard “Fun Run” for children. It takes place along the Charles River Esplanade, attracting the support of over 600 patients, employees and friends each year. At the end of the Run, participants are treated to a raffle, games, awards and a pancake breakfast prepared by Four Seasons chefs.
“What makes the Run of Hope so special in Boston is that it is an employee run grassroots campaign that has consistently increased fundraising efforts to support pediatric cancer research. It is an effort that is near and dear to the hearts of our employees,” says Denee D’Andrea, the employee development manager of the Four Seasons Boston. “It really is a feel good event that is for runners, families, students and of course Mass General patients and families. We have created deep relationships because of this event and it has made a difference in what we are trying to accomplish.”
Each year the MGHfC Cancer Center, led by Howard Weinstein, MD, chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, chooses a star patient to feature throughout the race. Last year’s star patient, Lily Waldeck, is a 7-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who has almost completed her two years of chemotherapy. Today she is doing very well, and even spent this past summer enjoying camp. This year’s race will feature Amanuel Bayu, an energetic 5-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Amanuel is just completing his first year of chemotherapy.
Proceeds from the race directly benefit programs that support patients and their families at the MGHfC Cancer Center, helping to address the long-term physical, emotional and psychological challenges that come along with a cancer diagnosis. The Run of Hope helps fund childhood cancer services such as the HOPES program. It provides free wellness, education and support services to patients and their families and is designed to improve their well-being and quality of life. Run proceeds also support MGHfC’s Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic, which offers comprehensive clinical, social and psychological care for children, adolescents and young adults who have survived cancer diagnosis and treatment and are transitioning to general medical care provided by a primary care physician. The Run of Hope has helped to ensure that these childhood cancer programs have become fully integrated and standard in the care MGHfC Cancer Center provides, making the hospital a more comfortable place for children being treated for cancer.
To learn more about supporting the Four Seasons Run of Hope please visit our website