Friday, September 16, 2011

A dream come true for MGH Cancer Center patient

ANTHEM OF HOPE: Taraschi at the Sept. 3 game

IT WAS A WARM SUMMER DAY, but 61-year-old Kathy Taraschi of Dedham, Mass., gave shivers to the crowd at Fenway Park during her flawless rendition of the national anthem during the Sept. 3 pregame ceremony. The once-in-a-lifetime performance in front of approximately 37,000 Red Sox fans was especially meaningful for Taraschi, an MGH Cancer Center patient.

Taraschi was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and discovered a reoccurrence of the disease this past June. While she only recently began treatment, Taraschi and her team of MGH Cancer Center caregivers – including Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, Loren Winters, NP, and Kathy Blais, RN – are optimistic about the results thus far. Moy was alongside Taraschi’s many family members, friends and neighbors who attended the game and proudly watched her sing.

“As a lifelong Red Sox fan, performing the national anthem for a game was a dream come true,” says Taraschi. “The lyrics speak to the flag still standing after a long battle, and I am convinced that I, too, will be standing when my treatment is complete.”

A professional singer, Taraschi was selected to sing the anthem from scores of individuals who seek the honor each season. She began singing at age 15, studied voice at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and has performed live with jazz quartets, pianists and in musical comedy in Rochester, Philadelphia and Boston.

“My hopes for the future are to sing the national anthem again, record a CD, sing live with a big band and help other patients understand that their potential, dreams and hopes do not end with a diagnosis of cancer – mine didn’t.”

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