Friday, April 11, 2014

A family affair

UNITED FRONT: Capetta and Liam

For 33-year-old Maryclaire Capetta of Storrs, Conn., the 2014 Boston Marathon is more than just 26.2 miles of terrain. It is an opportunity to show love and support to her 7-year-old cousin, Liam Lasbury-Casey.

On April 21, Capetta will run as part of the Mass General Marathon team, “Fighting Kids’ Cancer … One Step at a Time.” The team raises money for the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Division at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), where Liam was treated after being diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – a very aggressive and rare form of muscle cancer. Starting when he was 6 months old, Liam underwent 15 months of chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation and scans.

Since 2008 – the same year Liam became cancer-free – friends and family have run the Boston Marathon to raise money for the MGH in his honor. The running tradition started when Julie Piotrowski, NP, of MGHfC Pediatric Surgical Service, ran for Liam in 2007 and 2008.

“As you spend more time at the MGH meeting other families, you see how cancer impacts their lives and that’s when you see it take on another meaning,” says Liam’s mother, Meghan Lasbury-Casey. “We were fortunate with Liam’s treatment and this is one way our family can give back.”  
Both of Liam’s moms, two of his aunts and an uncle have previously run the marathon in his honor. This year will be Capetta’s chance to cross the finish line. “I am honored that they asked me to run for Liam this year. I have run several half marathons, but running in Liam’s honor for such a wonderful cause has been my motivation to complete my first full marathon. I’m not sure that I am totally emotionally prepared for it, but I think it’s going to be such a great experience and I can’t wait.”

This year alone, Liam’s friends and family have raised more than $6,000 in support of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at MGHfC – making their total some $30,000. “We are fortunate to continue to meet and exceed our fundraising goals each year,” says Meghan Lasbury-Casey. “Maryclaire has been able to reach a new group of supporters for us. We’d like to see this tradition continue until one of our own children can run it – until then we have lots of family and friends lined up to keep it going.”

For more information about this year’s teams visit,

This story is part of a series of articles that MGH Hotline will publish about the teams and team members supporting the MGH as part of this year’s Boston Marathon.  

Read more articles from the 04/11/14 Hotline issue.


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