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The one hundred honoree: Kelly Shaw Murphy

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Kelly Shaw Murphy

Mass General Giving

In 1997, Kelly Shaw Murphy was diagnosed with stage III of an aggressive form of brain cancer. After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation at the Mass General Cancer Center, Kelly wanted to participate first-hand in fighting her disease. In September 1999, a month before her wedding to Jim Murphy, she organized a 5K walk in Newburyport, Mass. She and her sisters came up with its catchy name, Strides of Survival (SOS). Now in its 11th year, the walk in Maudslay State Park has raised more than $250,000 for Mass General Cancer Center’s brain tumor research program.

While raising funds, Kelly and her team also lift spirits, empowering patients and their loved ones to join their effort. Many SOS participants have since organized similar fundraisers. Kelly’s life also inspires her fellow cancer survivors. She has married, traveled and made a major career move. Formerly a respiratory therapist at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Kelly went back to school and is now a surgical nurse.