Through the valuable donation of his time and coaching services, Dan Fitzgerald has helped the Mass General Marathon Team go the distance in the race to fight cancer.
Dan Fitzgerald is the owner of Heartbreak Hill Running Company, which has locations in Cambridge, the South End, and in Newton, right on the Boston Marathon route. Howard Weinstein, MD, chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and one of the captains of the Mass General Marathon Team, happens to live nearby the Newton location. Dr. Weinstein would often come into the store, talk with Dan, and discuss what the team was doing to fight cancer. That’s when Dan decided to offer his services as Coach Dan.
For the past three years, he’s provided his complimentary expertise to Mass General Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Emergency Response team members as they prepare for the Boston Marathon. This cost would otherwise come out of the marathon budget, so Dan’s volunteering has been critical to raising more dollars for the Pediatric Cancer and Emergency Response programs. In addtion to working with Mass General, he also helps to coach other marathon charity partners.
Five-time Mass General Marathon Team member Steve Davis credits Coach Dan with giving runners the confidence to tackle the 26.2 mile course. “From the first team meeting in December to the final get together after the run, he was so helpful, so encouraging. I always felt like he was talking to me individually, as a personal coach. I realized that he was building not only our fitness, but our belief that we could actually do it! It is very clear that coaching the Mass General Marathon Team is a labor of love for Dan.”