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The Times
  • Newport teen ‘hero’ for upcoming Boston cancer walk

  • A 17-year-old cancer patient from Newport will serve as a hero this fall in Boston.

    In 2011, Brooke Greiner was diagnosed with lymphoma and now receives treatment at the Jimmy Fund Clinic, the pediatric section of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

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  • A 17-year-old cancer patient from Newport will serve as a hero this fall in Boston.
    In 2011, Brooke Greiner was diagnosed with lymphoma and now receives treatment at the Jimmy Fund Clinic, the pediatric section of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
    She recently was named a Walk Hero for the 24th annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 9.
    “I think it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “The Jimmy Fund makes the kids feel great and like they’re a part of something important. I’ve made a lot of friends through the Jimmy Fund.”
    About 9,000 people are expected to participate in the event and walk up to 26.2 miles along the Boston Marathon course to raise money for adult and pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.
    The event’s goal — raise $7.5 million.
    Since its 1989 inception, the walk has raised more than $80 million.
     Each team is matched with a walk hero so they can connect with cancer patients.
    Greiner has been paired with Team Zach’s Pack, which is headed by Zach Galvin, vice principal of Natick High School in Natick, Mass.
    A cancer survivor himself, Galvin has spent the past 15 years walking to raise money for cancer research and treatment. “I’ve learned that as a survivor, I don’t have any other choice,” he said. “There’s a reason that I’m still here, and it’s my job to keep helping victims.”
    Zach’s Pack has about 25 members, but Galvin hopes to add to that number with his students and their families. He said that the Walk Hero program is especially effective in accumulating interest in the walk. “It keeps a real human face on what we’re doing,” he said. “The patients’ participation gives people a tangible piece of the project to look at.”
    On Friday, the teams will meet their heroes at a party at Fenway Park, and Galvin is looking forward to meeting Greiner.
    Ann Beach, director of the Jimmy Fund Walk, said the program helps patients and walkers build a connection. “Walk Heroes inspire and encourage participants to keep walking and enable them to have a personal connection with the miles they’re logging and dollars they’re raising,” she said.
    Greiner agrees. “I think a lot of patients inspire the Jimmy Fund walkers because of what they’re going through, what they’re fighting,” she said.
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