In 2003, Will Kraft passed away from brain cancer. At his funeral, his friends and family decided that they would continue to walk in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai, a tradition started by Will, as a way to keep his memory alive.
“Long walks around the city were something Will always enjoyed. That did not change when he was diagnosed with cancer,” says Howie, Will’s best friend. “Everybody that spoke at Will’s funeral mentioned his love for walking when they gave his eulogy.”
Inspired by his late friend, Howie has dedicated the better part of the last year to fundraising for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where Will received cancer treatment.
On Monday, April 16, 2018, he completed 26.2 miles as a part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team to raise money for cancer research in honor of Will. Running a marathon in perfect conditions is tough, but making it through frigid temperatures and extreme conditions is pure dedication.
This September, Howie will walk along the same course as a participant in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, again raising funds for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund’s mission to conquer cancer.
“Completing the Marathon course twice this year is the best way I can think of to honor Will and remind his family that his memory is still fresh in my mind,” says Howie.
For Howie, participating in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk has been an emotional experience, one that initially inspired him to apply for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. While this was Howie’s first year running the Marathon, he has walked the course many times as a dedicated Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk participant.
“I was able to walk the entire 26.2-mile route with Will twice before he passed away. It was a challenge for him, but training to walk at the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk gave him something to focus on during cancer treatment,” says Howie. “To mark the 15-year anniversary of his passing, I wanted to do something special to push myself like he did.”
Join Howie as he takes steps to conquer cancer at the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai on Sunday, September 23, and raise money to make an impact in the lives of Dana-Farber patients.