This Sunday, September 9, Westwood resident Andrea Kelly will participate in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk for the third straight year.
All together, Kelly and her team, Alexa’s Allstars, have raised about $50,000 over that time period. This year alone, in fact, Kelly has raised over $3,000, while the team has raised just over $10,000 altogether. This is quite an accomplishment when you think about the fact that this money will be used for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and it’s something Kelly is quite proud of.
But it didn’t start out as something Kelly would wish upon anyone, as her involvement began when her 5-year-old daughter, Alexa, was diagnosed with Leukemia in April 2010.
“Being at the Jimmy Fund, you meet so many people going through the same thing,” Kelly said when asked about her initial involvement with the walk. “You know what the money is going for.”
Alexa has greeted her mom’s team at the finish line each of the past two years, but after finishing her treatment and being given a clean bill of health in May, the 7-year-old is expected to join the team late in the event to walk with them. Alexa’s Allstars walk the full 26.2 miles (it takes about nine hours to complete) along the same route as the Boston Marathon road race.
This year, now that Alexa is healthy, Kelly and her team are walking for another little girl. Her college roommate’s 8-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with cancer, and the team will be walking with her in mind.
“I figured it would bring everyone together,” Kelly said of gathering friends and family to continue to walk. “You see all those other people, kids and billboards along the way. I figure it’s the one thing I can do for the clinic, for Dana-Farber, for the doctors who have done so much.”
Now that Alexa has finished her treatment and is cancer-free, she’s looking forward to not being sick. The second grader has been involved in he fight against cancer herself, not just as a patient, but she has also been one of the spokesgirls for the Jimmy Fund’s Strike Out Cancer. She’ll probably also participate with her mom in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk in upcoming years as well.
“We’ll try to do this walk for a long time,” Kelly said. “It’s a good way for people to get together [to fight this disease]. You wish it never happens to anybody.”
Andrea Kelly and Alexa’s Allstars are still accepting donations for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. If you’d like to help out, just go to their fundraising page.