Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Supporting a Cause Larger Than Herself

On April 16, 2018, 102 runners will participate in the 122nd Boston Marathon on behalf of MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). These individuals support clinical and lab research, Brain Tumor and Long-term survivor programs, child life programs and mental health services that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients. This year marks the 21st anniversary of John Hancock’s partnership with the Mass General Marathon Program, providing Mass General with 100 bib numbers for the race, allowing the hospital to raise more than $13 million.

Corinne Rivard, a clinical research coordinator in the Program in Nutritional Metabolism within the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, is dedicated to runner her first marathon to support an organization she believes provides services much larger than herself. Corinne hopes her actions, however small, may help make a direct impact on the children and families who lives are transformed by pediatric cancer.

What kind of experience do you have as a runner?
The 2018 Boston Marathon will be my first marathon. Previously, I have participated in two half marathons including the Middletown Half Marathon (April 2016, Middletown, CT) and the Newport Half Marathon (March 2017, Newport, RI).

Corinne Rivard and her patient partner, Nathan


What inspires you as a runner?
 
I draw my inspiration to run from the supportive running community here in Boston and my friends and family who are cheering me on from afar. In addition, the glass of chocolate milk that I reward myself with at the end of every run motivates me to get out there and run!

What has been your most memorable moment preparing for the marathon?
My most memorable moment preparing for the marathon was the team run on February 3rd. Every Saturday, the Heartbreak Hill Running Company in Newton hosts a long run for the running community. The plan that day, was to run 14 miles, which was going to be the furthest distance I had ever run before. However, the morning of February 3rd, was a bitter cold one. Just one mile into the long run, it was so cold that my phone, which served as both my iPod and GPS, died. In addition, I had arrived a little late to the run and missed the briefing on the route we were supposed to take. I didn’t know how I was going to run 13 more miles with no music in the bitter cold when I didn’t know where I was going. On this run though, I met a fellow runner who was in the same predicament, no music and no working phone. What started as us running next to each other turned into us starting a conversation to distract us from the bleak running conditions. The next thing we knew, we had completed our longest run of training in season yet on a cold New England morning with no music and no GPS. This long run was the most memorable moment preparing for the marathon because I was reminded that I was not alone in preparing for the marathon and that there is a team supporting me at every turn. 

What have you learned about your patient partner and what makes him special?
I have learned that Nathan cannot wait to go back home to Haiti to see his friends this summer. When Nathan gets back to Haiti, he also is looking forward to getting his driver’s license and starting to drive. In the small amount of time that I have gotten to spend with Nathan and his family, I have learned that what makes Nathan so special is how close he is with his family. Despite the hardships of his diagnosis, Nathan maintains a very close relationship with his parents who are his biggest support system.

What are you most looking forward to about marathon day? 
On marathon day, I am most looking forward to crossing the finish line and proving to myself and all my friends and family who have supported me along the way that we did made an impact together!

 

This story is part of a series that MGH will publish in advance of the 2018 Boston Marathon featuring the Pediatric Oncology and Emergency Response Teams. In addition, individuals will run for the Miles for Mass General Program, which raises funds for hospital programs that are close to their hearts – including Botswana Oncology Global Outreach, Caring for a Cure, Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome and the Lurie Center for Autism.

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