When Joanne Minton passed away from cancer just over a year ago, her 22-year-old daughter Sarah was touched by the outpouring of support her family received, but she wasn’t surprised. Her mother, a local nurse who battled a brain tumor for seven years, was unlike anyone else.
“My mom would hold spontaneous ice cream sundae parties for the neighborhood to benefit the Jimmy Fund,” said Sarah, “she was incredible.” Joanne had a unique zest for her passions, namely her family, which include husband Dan, a Quincy police officer, her four children, Sarah, Andrew, Jane, and Molly, and her job as a nurse.
“Joanne was selfless, thoughtful, compassionate, and determined,” said Lori Scott, a neighbor and friend of Joanne’s. “Younger moms looked up to her, and I was in awe of her.”
Joanne was always the first person to raise her hand to volunteer and the last one to leave. The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai felt like the perfect way to honor her giving spirit, so her family started a team in her memory to support the Pediatric Patient Assistance Fund, a program close to Joanne’s heart. Thus team Attitude is Everything was born.
“‘Attitude is everything’ was my mom’s motto,” said Sarah, “and it really kept me going throughout my experience as a first-time walker. We wore purple shirts, because that was her favorite color, and included the saying, ‘Keep walking and make bundt cakes,’ because she always made them for people, for every occasion.”
Led by Sarah as team captain, the 17 members of team Attitude is Everything included family and friends of Joanne. Everyone was an inaugural participant of the Jimmy Fund Walk, and Sarah led training walks that often included Lori and Cheryl Doherty, another family friend; they would talk about Joanne and brainstorm about fundraising. Besides their individual fundraising, the team hosted a wildly successful yard sale that raised more than $5,000.
“I found that, once I asked, people wanted to help,” said Sarah. “We received a tremendous amount of support, and it was manageable. Signs were gifted, police officers volunteered, and there were lots of things to sell.” The success of the yard sale was a positive precursor to the big event just a few weeks later.
On Jimmy Fund Walk Day, September 27, teammates met at Sarah’s house at 4:30AM, fresh off a pasta party the night before. As they walked, the sun glowed, the air felt crisp, and it was a perfect day for walking and reflecting. Sarah, Molly, and Jane recreated a photo taken with their mother years ago on the course. The team marveled at how Joanne beat their time when she walked, even though she was undergoing treatment at the time. Family traveled from as far away as New Hampshire and Florida to walk and remember Joanne.
“When it comes to walking, our motto works. We just need to have a positive attitude, and move forward,” said Sarah, reflecting on the accomplishment that almost everyone completed the full 26.2-mile route.
“I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of it. Joanne’s memory and remembering her attitude carried me through the day. To be with her children, and my sons…it was a meaningful experience,” said Lori.
Team Attitude is Everything is one of the many teams and individuals that took to the Boston Marathon® route to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Learn more about the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk and the Jimmy Fund’s mission to conquer cancer.
Assistant Director, Development Communications