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Welcome to the DFMC 2014 Fundraising Page of
Jackie Ward

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Please support my fundraising efforts for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge!

Please join me in our critical efforts on behalf of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Every dollar the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge raises supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, which funds the brightest, most creative scientists making basic research discoveries. Here are brief descriptions of selected projects supported by the Barr Program, illustrating some of the program's most significant impacts to date.

Thank you for your support! Together, we can bring Dana-Farber toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.

Thank you for visiting my official Boston Marathon page! The Boston Marathon has always been a very special day for me, starting on the day I was born. When I came into the world in Brigham and Women's Hospital on April 21, 1986, it was a Marathon Monday. The race became a special day for my family from that moment on, as runners and spectators took over the streets of the beautiful city of Boston. But this years race will be the most emotional race I will ever run. I'm sure a lot of other runners are feeling the same after last year's marathon was marred by evil. However, instead of focusing on those hateful acts, this year's theme should be about focusing on the heroes. Stirling Winder is my hero. She wasn't at the finish line on April 15, 2013, but she had watched the marathon from that very spot in many previous years.

I met Stirling as an awkward 14-year-old during my freshman year of high school. From the moment I met her, I knew she was different. She told me, "If we're going to be friends, you're going to have to walk faster. I walk fast." She wasn't kidding. Stirling was always on a mission. She had this intriguing way of being the toughest chick on the field hockey field, then running off it and telling some ridiculous joke with her infectious laughter taking over the whole team. Throughout our time at GDA, we were the best of friends.

In 2008, our freshman year of college, Stirling had taken her lovably spunky self to the University of Vermont where she was planning to be a member of their field hockey team. After only a few months of being in Vermont, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that had been pulsing through her body since 8th grade undetected. As a result, she had 20 cm of her femur removed, permanently changing the way she walked and ran. But she DID run. In fact, after chemo treatments, hair loss, and countless hours of physical therapy, Stirling played in more Division I level games than anyone thought she would. Her jersey number is proudly retired at UVM now.

After her initial recovery, a few years went by, her hair grew longer, and we thought the worst was behind her.

She never told me it was back. She said she didnt want me to worry. On July 26, 2012, I was able to see my friend one last time. It had been a couple of years since wed seen each other, but when I saw her it felt like no time had passed. The hour I spent with her that day was the most gut-wrenching hour of my life. There was my friend, my beautiful friend, with a smile like Id never seen before, trying to be so brave and so strong, but finally admitting that she was scared. I was so angry for her. I was hurting so badly for her.

Two days later, after a final trip to the beach with her family and closest friends, Stirling passed away in her home. She was 26 years old.

Cancer is a terrible, evil poison that has affected too many people in this world. Im running to find a cure for it. Im running for all the pain that Stirling, and so many others, went through. Im running because she cant. And Ill run as fast as I can because I know thats what she would have wanted.

Please contribute whatever you can to help me reach my goal of $13,100. We can do this. We can beat cancer. We can be #StirlingStrong

For more on why I run, here's a video Dana-Farber made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2Kvv3HdB_0

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