The following is a press release:
Ellen Kaufman, 53, of Stoughton, is a cancer survivor who will walk 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk not only as a cancer survivor, but for the four generations of women within her family who have all battled cancer.
“It is such a devastating disease,” says Kaufman. “I have watched it hit my family over and over again.”
In the 1960s, Kaufman’s grandmother, Nettie Collier, passed away from leukemia.
“They just didn’t have the advances in medicine then that they do now,” says Kaufman. “I barely remember them treating her.”
In 1995, her mother, Bernice Kaufman, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She had surgery, but opted out of further treatment and passed away 11 months after being diagnosed.
In 2005, Ellen Kaufman was treated for breast cancer at Dana-Farber and has since been in remission.
“It was when I was being treated at Dana-Farber that I decided to do the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk,” says Kaufman. “I knew I wanted to give back and help others.”
The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai is a one-day charity walk that supports all cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event provides participants a unique opportunity to walk the historic Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Boston Marathon route and to raise money for Dana-Farber. The BAA has supported the Jimmy Fund Walk for 24 years.
Kaufman walked in 2008 when she felt well enough to participate and in 2011, walked in memory of a co-worker who had passed from colon cancer. Kaufman’s daughter, Erica Ebner, 28, walked alongside her in 2008, but opted out in 2011 because she wasn’t feeling well.
Ebner made a doctor’s appointment and after undergoing testing, in March 2012, she was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Kaufman has been caring for her daughter as she undergoes chemotherapy.
“I will be walking this year solely for Erica,” Kaufman says. “If she can fight this disease and go through everything she is going through, then I can walk for her.”
On Sunday, September 9, Kaufman will join an expected 9,000 walk participants, who will walk up to 26.2 miles along the historic route of the Boston Athletic Association’s Boston Marathon to raise money for lifesaving adult and pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.
The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk is slated for September 9 and aims to raise $7.5 million. Since its 1989 inception, the Walk has raised more than $80 million.
“This year will be especially important. The camaraderie of the Walk is so inspirational,” says Kaufman. “I look forward to being inspired by other people’s stories and experiences and bringing that hope and inspiration back to my daughter.”
To register for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, or to support Kaufman, visit www.JimmyFundWalk.org or call (866) 531-9255.