Erica Masini explains why she is running for the MassGeneral Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer . . . One Step at a Time.
Q&A with marathon runner Erica Masini
Erica Masini, running for Joaquim, 19 months, Retinoblastoma
Q: Where are you from?
I am originally from Lake Zurich, IL, but I currently live in Somerville, MA.
Q: What is your role at Massachusetts General Hospital?
I am a project manager/editor for MassGeneral Hospital for Children. I manage the staff newsletter and physician orientation, write patient stories, edit patient education materials and the Child and Adolescent Resource Materials website, and help manage our social media pages.
Q: Why did you choose to run the marathon for MassGeneral Hospital for Children?
I started running when I moved to Boston for college as a way to stay in shape. Since then, running has evolved into a personal challenge to push myself farther than I’ve ever pushed before. Watching athletes run along Commonwealth Avenue each year inspired me to make running the Boston Marathon a life goal. When I started working at MassGeneral Hospital for Children last year and learned about the MassGeneral Marathon Team, I jumped at the chance to accomplish my dream while also benefiting an incredible cause.
Q: What kind of experience do you have as a runner?
I’m a rookie - this will be my first marathon! Growing up, I played team sports and used to think of running as punishment. But I’ve grown to love it over the years, and I’ve done several 5K’s and a half marathon.
Q: What inspires you as a runner?
The rush of racing, growing mental toughness and fighting for a cause I believe in.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment preparing for the marathon?
Running 9 miles in the rain on a Wednesday night. For veteran distance runners, this isn’t a big deal, but never in a million years did I think I would be out running 9 miles on a weeknight in the rain. It made me feel like I could accomplish anything.
Q: What have you learned about your patient partner and what makes him special?
Even though Joaquim has been through chemotherapy and radiation in his short life, you wouldn’t know it because his curiosity and smile brighten any room. He is just a happy little boy who loves cars, trucks and soccer. I love playing “choo-choo” trains with him and seeing how much his family cares about him. His strength and resilience inspire me to keep going.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about marathon day?
I can’t wait to see the Mass General volunteers and Joaquim at Mile 20, and then see my parents, boyfriend and friends at the finish line. Being surrounded by love and support on such a special day will make it one of the most memorable moments of my life. I get choked up every time I think about crossing the finish line.