In order to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai did not take place along its normal route from Hopkinton to Boston. Instead, the virtual event allowed walkers and teams to walk Your Way, getting creative with where and how they approached their walk.
Four Team Captains from Canton, Mass., Amy Ennis, Amy Killeen, Sara Marshall, and Tara Shuman, took this challenge head on. The women all lead their own respective Jimmy Fund Walk teams but decided to work together to spread the awareness about Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s mission in their community.
Despite the unique challenges of 2020, the women decided not to let the pandemic stop them from raising money for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.
The teams built a mobile ribbon wall, like the one at the finish line of the Jimmy Fund Walk in Copley Square. Ribbons were available for purchase and placed on the wall in memory or in honor of loved ones, with all funds raised supporting Dana-Farber. Each color symbolized a different disease area: blue for colorectal cancer, yellow for childhood cancer, and purple for all cancers.
“We wanted to find a way to bring the Canton teams together while also raising money to conquer cancer” said Amy Killeen, co-captain of Team Tara. “We created a real sense of a Jimmy Fund Walk community in Canton, and that was so fulfilling.”
Since each of the Team Captains live in a different neighborhood of Canton, the mobile ribbon wall traveled around the community to increase its exposure. Its final stop was the Canton Public Library, where the entire Canton community was able to see the ribbon wall and purchase ribbons. From this travelling fundraising event alone, the teams were able to raise more than $2,300.
“We don’t need a huge finish line or party—we need to be together, either in spirit or truly together, to remember why we are raising money,” explained Amy Ennis, team captain of Bushy Strong.
Looking ahead to the 2021 Jimmy Fund Walk, they already have big plans for another year of walking in the Canton community.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to for Walk Day 2021 is gathering even more friends and family to join us,” said Sara Marshall, who is the team co-captain of Seanie Strong along with Eddie Sykes. “I am hoping this year that more team members will be able to gather in Canton and we will be able to walk together.”
Tara Shuman, co-captain of Team Tara, says the tenacity learned from the cancer journey is one she now uses as she and her team walk to defy cancer:
“Cancer patients, survivors, and families know that cancer puts a wrench in many plans. Cancer forces us to adapt, and adapt we do. Together, Wherever, Against Cancer means that we will continue to adapt until we conquer cancer once and for all. Even a global pandemic will NOT stop us.”
Register today to join the 2021 Jimmy Fund Walk: Your Way to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We are all together, wherever, against cancer.