BOSTON (CBS) – Despite the cold, snowy and rainy weather, this is push time for runners training for the Boston Marathon. For one doctor from the Mass General Hospital for Children running his 25th Boston, the support of a little boy is all he needs to keep going.
“Roses are red, violets are blue, thank you for honoring me by running 26.2. Love Harry. What a unique gift,” says Dr. Howard Weinstein, the chief of pediatric hematology and oncology at the Mass General Hospital for Children. He’s reading from a hand made plaque given to him by Harry Burns and his family.
“Reading this plaque really, almost brought tears to my eyes. It was really, really very special,” Dr. Weinstein says.
Special because Weinstein is not only treating Harry for leukemia, he’s also paired with the 5 year old for his Boston Marathon challenge. “I first got to know Harry as my patient, and now he’s supporting my Marathon run. And he’s my patient partner. It’s incredibly inspirational,” says Weinstein.
We first met Dr. Weinstein a couple of years ago, training during a sloppy winter similar to this one. “When I’m out there doing a 10, 12, 14 mile run and I’m starting to hurt, I think about Harry, and I go, if Harry can go through therapy I can make this 10 mile run or 12 mile run. Harry has been getting chemotherapy the last 10 months and he’s done incredibly well. He’s in what we call complete remission,” Weinstein says.
But Harry, who also has Down Syndrome, has 2 more years of chemo to endure. The money raised by Dr. Weinstein and the MGH Marathon team will support cancer research and care.
Harry comes to the clinic every week for that care, sometimes with his twin Sammy, and older brother Ben. “I think it’s great because they’re running this entire marathon to raise money for cancer. It’s really special to us because he’s doing this for Harry,” says 10 year old Ben Burns.
“We’re all very excited about it. It gives us an opportunity to do a little pay back. We’ve always wondered what we could do to help, and this is our opportunity,” says Bryan Burns, Harry’s father.
Harry and his family will be at mile 20 to cheer on the runners. The team from the Mass General Hospital for Children has raised nearly $12-million to fight cancer.
For more information or to donate visit the MGH Team fundraising page.