“Sometimes the stars align, and you just know the moment is right,” says Zach M. Feldman, MD, MPH, MSc, when reflecting on why he and his husband, Mario Miranda, decided to run the Boston Marathon® in support of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Emergency Department. “I’m a Roslindale boy; I was brought up always aware we were a short drive to Mass General, where we had access to the best medical care in the world. That I am now working in this ‘temple of healing’— I’ll be completing a vascular surgery residency in 2025 — surrounded by inspired and inspiring individuals who are always on their game, is tremendously satisfying.”
Mario’s route to Boston, and eventually calling the city home, is somewhat more circuitous. Born to a Venezuelan mother and Peruvian father, he was raised in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Schooling brought him to the United States in 2007, and he met Zach in Philadelphia, PA, while they were both undergraduates. They then lived and were married in New York, but Boston offered a magnetic combination of career opportunities and family that made it an almost unavoidable choice.
Health and Equity, Hand-in-Hand
“This is my first marathon,” says Mario. “I never really considered myself an athlete growing up, largely because, as a gay man, I never felt like sports-related spaces were ones in which I was welcome. It has felt quite vindicating to re-write that narrative in my own head as I push my body to personal records day after day.”
This is also Zach’s first time running a marathon.
“It’s very simple,” says Zach. “I love Mass General for many reasons, not least among them being that it accepts me for who I am. Diversity, equity and inclusion are not hollow words for Mass General; I am running because Mass General has a vision for the future of a society that can only be healthy, if equitable. It’s as simple and as grand as that.”
Zach also says he’s representing Mass General this year to honor the tenth anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings — a day he remembers vividly from his time in New York. Mass General was instrumental in the city’s response to the aftermath of the tragic events. The pride Zach has in Boston and in his place of work, because of that day, makes the effort to run this year’s Boston Marathon feel even more significant.
A Meaningful Gesture
On April 17, Mario and Zach together will take that famous right turn on Hereford Street and left on Boylston Street, cheered on by their families and thousands of other spectators, who will undoubtedly gather to celebrate Boston’s resilience. They will be raising critical funds for Mass General’s Emergency Department — a place that has stood as a pillar of strength and support during our country’s darkest days.
“Here we are, committed to each other, committed to the hospital and becoming more and more a part of a community where we can thrive,” says Mario. “It’s great to be able to support Mass General in our own small way. And at the same time, we can make a meaningful gesture: we have been training together so that we can run the race side-by-side and cross the finish line, hand-in-hand.”
To support Zach’s fundraising efforts, click here. To support Mario’s fundraising efforts, click here.
To learn more about Mass General’s marathon team, click here.
John Hancock-Mass General Boston Marathon® Partnership
Mass General is proud to be an official Partner of John Hancock in the Marathon Non-Profit Program. The Non-Profit Program provides more than 1,000 Boston Marathon® bibs to select non-profit organizations throughout the community, giving an opportunity to all to raise significant funds to advance their missions.
For 26 years, John Hancock has been our steadfast partner in the Marathon Non-Profit Program and with their support, we have raised more than $22 million for Mass General. We are deeply humbled and profoundly grateful for their longstanding dedication to our mission. Their trust in us helped us reach this pivotal moment in medicine, a moment that allows us now to reimagine the future of health care for all people, both locally and around the globe. Learn more about our John Hancock-Mass General Boston Marathon partnership that continues to provide significant support for our three signature causes: Pediatric Cancer, Emergency Medicine and Home Base.