MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Debra LaFrankie, of Marlborough, is a champion fundraiser for the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai, a one-day charity walk that raises funds for the Jimmy Fund for all types of cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. On March 23, she was recognized as Team Captain of the Year at the Walk’s Extra Mile Brunch, an event that celebrates Pacesetters, walkers who raise more than $1,500 each.
LaFrankie is a longtime dedicated team captain and veteran nurse in Dana-Farber’s Neuro-Oncology department. She leads Team Neuro, a group of 150 walkers that annually raise more than $100,000. In 2013, the team raised more than $144,000, making it the top Dana-Farber-led Walk team. In 10 years, the team has raised $1 million. LaFrankie, who has walked in the event for the past 10 years, is a tireless advocate who recruits a large number of participants and rallies everyone to raise funds. LaFrankie was nominated for the award by an overwhelming number of team members.
“We are grateful to everyone who participated in the 2013 Jimmy Fund events, especially to Pacesetters, who are committed to raising awareness and funds to benefit the advancement of cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber,” says Suzanne Fountain, director of The Jimmy Fund.
On Sunday, Sept. 21, LaFrankie and Team Neuro will join more than 8,500 walkers expected to participate in the event with the goal of raising more than $7.5 million, bringing the Jimmy Fund Walk’s 26-year fundraising total to more than $100 million. Approximately 30 employees of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology walk with Team Neuro, which also includes 75 cancer patients, survivors, and their families. The group annually walks in honor of the Walk Heroes, pediatric and adult oncology patients, and carries gray balloons, the national color of brain tumor awareness.
“Her dedication and commitment to our patients is palpable, and she goes above and beyond to motive staff and help us reach our fundraising goals,” says Team Neuro member Vanessa Bennett. “Deb is the first person at the Walk, the last person to leave, and cheers everyone on each step of the way. She is deeply committed to our work and to finding a cure for cancer.”
“I am honored to be recognized with the Team Captain of the Year award,” says LaFrankie. “National funding has been down and so the Center relies on fundraisers like the Walk to raise crucial funds for cancer research, helping cancer patients to live longer lives.”
The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk gives participants a unique opportunity to walk one of four routes along the historic Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Boston Marathon® course and to raise money for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. For 26 years, the BAA has supported the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.
To register for the 26th annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai (#JimmyFundWalk) on Sept. 21, or to support a walker, visit www.JimmyFundWalk.org or call (866) 531-9255. Registration is easy and walkers can enter the discount code NEWS for $5 off.
About the Jimmy Fund
The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children's Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.
About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding. Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: www.facebook.com/danafarbercancerinstitute and on Twitter: @danafarber.