You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
The one hundred honoree: Maggie Berry and James Mooney

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Maggie Berry and James Mooney

Mass General Giving

Last June, Maggie Berry, a 16-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, and James Mooney, a 15-year-old from Wellesley, Massachusetts took off for Mbarara, Uganda, each on a personal mission to help cancer patients.

The teens had previously traveled separately to Uganda with their parents, who are supporters of the Mass General Center for Global Health, which has a year-round presence at the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. Both Maggie and James found themselves so deeply affected by their respective experiences that they felt impelled to return to try to make a difference.

For Maggie, her catalyzing moment came when she observed pediatric cancer patients recuperating from surgery with nothing to do. A talented, 10-year piano student, Maggie recognized the power of music to heal and to relieve stress. On her return to the U.S., she set out to raise funds to establish an art and music therapy program for the clinic. She raised enough funds to spend six weeks last June creating a permanent program at the hospital.

For James, spending time with undernourished children in the pediatric malnutrition unit and visiting a sick child in a remote village made him aware of Uganda’s extremely limited medical resources. A competitive athlete who has participated in many fundraising runs, James decided to return to Mbarara and launch the 5K Uganda Color Run for Cancer to raise awareness and funding for children with cancer.

Together, Maggie and James raised more than $54,000, enough to fund a 12-bed inpatient cancer ward, scholarships for training medical residents in adult and pediatric oncology, increased nursing capacity at the clinic, and the art and music therapy program. Both teens will return this June to Uganda to continue the work they started.