Monday, March 18, 2013

Q&A with marathon runner Bonnie Monahan

Runner Bonnie Monahan with patient partner CJay

Runner Bonnie Monahan with patient partner CJay

Q: What is your name?

A: Bonnie Monahan

Q: Where are you from?

A: I currently live in Rye NH but grew up in MA

Q: What is your role at Massachusetts General Hospital?

A: I am an avid fundraiser for thye MassGeneral Hospital for Children pediatric oncology team .  I co-founded the Granite State Quest which has raised over $1.1 million for MassGeneral.  This year I am also a member of the MassGeneral marathon team!  

Q: Why did you choose to run the marathon for MassGeneral Hospital for Children?  

A: A marathon was on my bucket list.  I turned 50 and thought I best do it soon!  More importantly, I wanted to continue to do more for Mass General where my brother and husband both received their wonderful treatment for cancer.

Q: What kind of experience do you have as a runner?

A:  I was a sprinter on my high school and college track team but that was over 30 years ago!  I started running again in Sept 2012 and could only do 1 mile at first.  I am now up to 18 miles and this will be my first marathon!  

Q: What inspires you as a runner?  

A: First, I think about all those who have had and are currently battling cancer.  They inspire me to not quit, especially on the long runs or when it's snowing.  Second, my incredibly generous friends and family inspire me.  Because they believe in me (via donations and kind words), I believe in myself.   And CJay, my patient partner, inspires me.  His positive attitude is contagious!

Q: What has been your most memorable moment preparing for the marathon?  

A: The camaraderie of the team is outstanding.  On a recent hill work out, Jennifer Annstead, a fellow team member and veteran marathoner, had already completed her workout but she turned around joined me to do another hill to encourage me.   Another example of camaraderie is from my first long run with the team (12 miles).  Dr. Weinstein ran with me and provided me extra motivation on a day that I had many doubts.

Q: What have you learned about your patient partner and what makes him special?  

A: CJay is a strong brave young man who loves his family.  

Q: What are you most looking forward to about marathon day?  

A: The experience -- I am going to try to soak in every minute of the 26.2 miles.    

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I believe that each one of us can make a difference in the fight against cancer -- be it running, volunteering, cheering and or donating.  All these actions help bridge the gap between the hope and reality of finding a cure for cancer and provide hope and support to those battling cancer.   

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