BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino left an indelible mark on the city and a legacy of public service. Now, his 16-year-old granddaughter is making her mark for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, honoring her Papa’s memory and helping other families.
Olivia Fenton isn’t trying to walk in her grandfather’s shoes, but he’d definitely be proud of her mileage. Olivia’s captain of “Team Menino” in the upcoming Jimmy Fund Walk.
She will walk 26 miles as a tribute to her Papa, an avid walker himself who lost his battle with cancer 11 months ago.
“It’s just devastating to figure out that someone that close to you is just, like, taken over by a terrible disease like that,” Olivia said.
She hopes her fundraising will help find a cure that spares other kids the pain she felt.
Olivia remembers driving monster trucks under his desk at City Hall, cheering with him for Boston sports teams and meeting important people. But her best memories are of more intimate times she described at his funeral and moments they shared one on one.
“He’d try to give advice specifically about boys,” Olivia said. “He would say ‘stay away from them.’ Ha ha!”
Olivia’s co-captain is Sammy Tarbokas, a friend who’s also lost loved ones to cancer.
“Especially after he passed, I talked to her every day,” Olivia says.
They’ll have a lot of time to talk as they hike the full marathon distance from Hopkinton to Boston.
Susan Menino-Fenton says her dad’s spirit lives on in events like the Jimmy Fund Walk. And he’ll be with Olivia every step of the way.
“He would be so proud of her,” Menino-Fenton said.
Team Menino is open to anyone who wants to join the walk on Sunday September 27th. To donate, visit JimmyFund.org.