“Certainly, the Jimmy Fund would not be where it is today if it were not for the Red Sox. Almost everything we do is associated in some way with the Red Sox.”
— Mike Andrews, former Chairman, the Jimmy Fund
After celebrating Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary in 2012, the Red Sox have an equally important anniversary to celebrate this year. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of Boston’s affiliation with an institution that without a doubt has touched as many lives and in more important ways than even a beloved sports franchise.
The Jimmy Fund, founded in 1948, has worked tirelessly with the Boston Red Sox since 1953. A parade of Red Sox stars – Ted Williams, Dick Radatz, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Andrews (Jimmy Fund Chairman for 30 years who stepped down in 2009), Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon and Dustin Pedroia to name just a few – have all spent time, energy and talent working with the Jimmy Fund and inspiring both adult and juvenile cancer patients.
Rarely, if ever, has a major sports franchise become so synonymous with a charity. The Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund are nearly inseparable. The Jimmy Fund Clinic follows founder Dr. Sidney Farber’s “total patient care” philosophy, assuring that a patient’s psychological, family and spiritual needs, as well as their medical needs, are met. Thousands yearly from arounds the globe come to Boston to receive this holistic and humane treatment.
Writing about the Jimmy Fund on Valentine’s Day is of special significance to me. It was 15 years ago on this day that a doctor at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital called the waiting room, spoke with me on the phone and broke the news that after exploratory surgery my father had advanced stage aortic cancer. I numbly hung up the phone and told my mother what the doctor said, easily one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.
Valentine’s Day is also my niece’s birthday. When I texted my well wishes to her this morning and received a lovely reply back I was again reminded, as always, of the very personal bitter sweetness that this day brings.
That is the promise of the Jimmy Fund and Boston’s Dana Faber Cancer Institute. Imagine a time in the future when perhaps a particular day on the calendar doesn’t mark a parent’s passing at age 72 just when they have aged to perfection like a fine wine. Imagine living in your advanced years without the specter of a harrowing diagnosis casting it’s imposing shadow on your sunset. Imagine all children unencumbered, able to look back as adults on their childhood and realize those years were truly the only carefree ones of their lives – as it should be. Imagine closing cancer clinics.
As the Jimmy Fund slogan says, “I can dream can’t I?” I hope you can too.
Contact the Jimmy Fund Clinic:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Jimmy Fund Clinic
450 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215-5450
New patients: (888) PEDI-ONC (888-733-4662)
Existing patients: (617) 632-3270