Thursday, December 22, 2016

Boston Marathon 2017: Meet the Fab Five Running for Fisher House Boston

Last year I was blessed to meet Alan Dyer, first on Facebook and then at his fund raiser at Loretta’s Last Call. As a retired VA social worker, Fisher House Boston is a cause near and dear to my heart. I remember when Fisher House Boston first broke ground on the West Roxbury VA Campus and one of my social work colleagues became the manager. The Fisher House Boston is a home away from home where our military families can stay while a loved one is receiving in house treatment at one of our medical centers. Any family member or loved one of an active military or Veteran's family, wartime or peacetime, is eligible to stay at the Fisher House. These homes are built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers.

The homes enable family members to be close to loved ones at the most stressful times. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. There is NO Charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House. We are completely committed to helping those who have served for us and for our country. We believe these men and women are our National Treasures! Fisher House is a Four Star Charity, with an A+ rating.

Let’s meet the Fabulous Five who are going the distance of 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston on April 17th, 2017 to raise money for Fisher House Boston.

Alan Dyer: “I am a Viet Nam Era veteran who joined the cost guard in the early 70's. I spent 5 years in the service stationed in Woods Hole on a buoy tender, then Block Island doing search and rescue and drug interdiction.

My connection to Fisher House Boston is through Mark Langley. Mark and I met at a local gym where be both became fitness instructors. I teach spin and he teaches boot camps. The two of us just hit it off and became best of friends. He mentioned wanting to run the Ragnar Relay Race to raise money for Fisher House Boston. He introduced me to Jen Deluca, Executive Director and I became fast friends with Jen and committed to the Fisher House Boston cause.

Funny thing about that Ragnar Relay run, six weeks prior to running the race I had neck surgery to fuse C-4 and C-5. I fractured those vertebrae many weeks prior, but continued to train and exercise. Mark wanted to replace me and I flat out told him no way. I ran with a neck brace. The team was made up of my Physical Therapist and my Chiropractor. That was a very special run for Fisher House Boston.

In 2015 Mark said that Jen was going to try and get some bibs for Boston and I said I was all in. Mark, Joe and I are the original Marathon Team and we continue to this day running, raising awareness and money for Fisher House Boston. As long as Jen keeps getting bibs and my knees hold up i will keep running and raising money for our veterans and their families.

I was supposed to get my knees replaced last year, but Jen called and asked if I could postpone the surgery and run one more time for the 2016 Marathon. And this year I told Jen right up front I wanted a bib and tada she gave me one. What’s a little bit of pain that I go through training to run the Boston Marathon compared to what these guys and gals go through to defend our freedom….”

Alan with Nic L. whose family was supported by Fisher House Boston during his recovery

Alan during the Super Hero long run training for Boston 2016

Mark Langley
“I have once again been given the privilege to run the 2017 Boston Marathon as a member of Team Fisher House Boston. I run to raise money and awareness for Fisher House Boston because they take care of our military men and women and their families. My son was an active duty Army Infantryman, my Dad was active duty Air Force and many other family members have served. Our veterans and their families deserve our attention and help. FIsher House helps keep families together while eliminating some financial obligations. I ran the 2015 and 2016 Boston Marathon as a member of Team Fisher House Boston and our teams raised over $80000! Please help me this year so we can continue to support our veterans. So, I will run the miles through rain, snow, sleet and freezing weather and all you have to do is donate! Thank you for your support.”

Joe Mascariello
“After twice saying "Never again", I'm back for for my third year of running the Boston Marathon in support of Fisher House Boston. With no military experience of my own, I am indebted to those who have sacrificed so much and am honored to serve our military through this effort.

I've now completed 9 marathons and a small handful of longer trail races and from that experience two things are clear: Experience doesn't make you better and 26.2 miles is a long way to run. My running has brought me to some of the coolest places in the world and some of the coolest people in the world have filtered through my life as a result of being a runner. A little fatigue is a small price to pay for those experiences. I am fortunate to have this ability and grateful that I can use it to give back.

For those who don't know, Fisher House allows the families of veterans a free place to stay on the grounds of the VA while the service man/woman or family member is receiving treatment at the hospital. The Boston Fisher House is unique in that they will fund hotel stays for the families of servicemen and women when are they are receiving treatment at other Boston hospitals.

The links below will provide more information on the Fisher House and a compelling story about the importance of providing this resource to our veterans. Fisher House is a 4 star rated (their highest rating) charity by Charity Navigator.

Fisher House Boston

A compelling story about why you should donate to Fisher House Boston:

I know the choices for giving are endless and I hope you'll find that supporting Fisher House is worthy of your hard earned support.”

Breda O’Connor
“I ran my first race in the 7th grade when my mom and I participated in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 5K. Oddly enough, that would be the first and only time I would place in my age division. I don't run for the medals. I sometimes run for the beer, but mostly I run because I can, because there are so many people who can't. Since that race, I have run for multiple charities, including the Boston Marathon in 2014 for a Marathon bombing survivor.

I am so excited to have been selected to run for the Fisher House Boston. Over the last year and a half, I have gained a new perspective of the aftermath of war and what military families must overcome. Through many events with The Warrior Foundation and interacting with my boyfriend's friends and colleagues, I have been able to witness first hand the village it takes to care for our veterans and their families. My boyfriend is a mechanical engineer at The United States Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, working closely with veterans to protect our soldiers currently overseas. Through him, I have had the great opportunity of meeting many of of our country's bravest and their amazing families. I am so excited to bring more awareness to the Fisher House and cross that finish line on April 17!”

Kat Anne

"I've been running since high school cross country but it has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Since 2011, I've been running races with a team of friends and family in memory of a close family friend, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly. Robert was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines and was deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan when he was killed in action on November 9th, 2010. Most importantly, he was a husband, son, brother and a babysitter who probably let my brothers and I get away with way too much. Every race I've run, I'm always amazed by the number of people I get the share the Team Kelly story with and the incredible stories people share with me.

As I take on my 4th marathon, I'm so honored to be able to share the story of Fisher House as I run. The work they do to support military families is incredible. Instead of worrying about hotel bills, families can focus on healing in a supportive environment. Knowing that his memory lives on in the dedicated Fisher House healing garden, I'm so grateful for the chance to give back to Fisher House in Robert's memory and in thanks for the incredible work they do to support military and veteran families. Thank you for your support!"

Give a little…give a lot…give from your heart and let’s make this year the biggest year yet for the Sensational Six running from their hearts for Fisher House Boston.

Please donate to one or all of the Sensational Six by following this link.

To your health and wellness,

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