Friday, December 26, 2014

Fundraising Friday: Meet Meg Reilly

Ten years ago, Meg Reilly and her family spent the holidays on the "liver floor" at Beth Israel Hospital after her Uncle Bob received a lifesaving liver transplant in 2004. As Meg said, the liver transplant team at Beth Israel is amazing but it was not her family's first choice for a venue for the holidays.

In her own words:

I'm fundraising for the 2015 Boston Marathon as part of Run for Research, the American Liver Foundation team. This will be my fourth consecutive Boston Marathon and my fourth for the Liver Foundation. I've been so fortunate to have a caring and generous group of friends and family who have helped fund research and raise awareness in the fight against liver disease.

My Uncle Bob's new liver was a miracle, but he continues to fight liver disease today.

The amazing work of doctors and researchers have allowed Bob and many people just like him survive and thrive despite his diagnosis: in fact, just recently a cure was developed for Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that can destroy the liver. While we celebrated the finding and availability of the drug, we learned all too soon that a cure for some isn't a cure for all. My uncle completed the treatment and just last week learned that he still tests positive for the disease.

What was amazing to me -- and you, Mary, and your readers, will appreciate this -- is how resilient he is in spite of this ongoing struggle. Instead of letting it get him down, he pointed to the many researchers focused on finding another cure. He focused on the support of his family. He even said I don't have to keep fundraising for future Bostons until we find a cure -- but let's be honest, I probably will! After all, my uncle has always been there for me, whether it's as a voice of reason or to offer a word of support, a friendly face and easy laugh when things are tough, even in major moments, like April 2013, when I stood on Boylston Street just past the finish line, just before 3pm. My uncle has never stopped being one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I'll never stop being his.

Because if I've learned one thing from my uncle, it's that we are so, so lucky already, with everything we have been given and everything we've made it through. And if I've learned two things, the second is that there's no reason to lose hope that there's still another chance ahead.

A donation to the American Liver Foundation helps create that next opportunity. It funds the research and awareness-raising that will help eliminate liver disease. It helps save my uncle's life, once more.

My page is here:

I would love your support and I will carry your intentions with me not just from Hopkinton to Boston, but on every step I run from now through Boylston Street on April 20th.

Here's Meg wearing her scarf from the Marathon Scarf Project at Old South Church for those running Boston 2014:

and here she is in the orange Liver singlet rocking out Boston 2014:

Meg ran in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge as part of Team Fidelity. The Corporate Challenge benefits BUILD and the Greater Boston Food Bank. Because of her stunning finish on the mixed team, she was honored at Fenway Park in August:

Meg is also a member of the L Street Running Club and we volunteered together at the L Street Water Stop at the Run to Remember:

Meg runs not only with her legs but with her heart and soul. She will get in the training and can get herself from Hopkinton to Boston but she needs each of you to get her to the starting line knowing she has exceeded her fundraising goal for a cause that is near and dear to her heart and to millions of families hoping they will see a cure for liver disease. Please donate what you can. Every size donation is greatly appreciated. Here is the link again to her fundraising page.

“This doesn’t stop us. And that’s what you’ve taught us, Boston. That’s what you’ve reminded us — to push, to not grow weary, to not get faint, even when it hurts. We finish the race. And we do that because of who we are and we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick up.” ~Barack Obama

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