Chris Devin, a mortgage lender from Norwell, Mass., proud husband, and father of four, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July 2020. He was connected to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for his treatment and care, and since that time has had a strong relationship with Paul G. Richardson, MD, clinical program leader and director of clinical research for the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and RJ Corman Professor of Medicine. “Dr. Paul has been truly an awesome doctor to work with. He is extremely well versed in multiple myeloma and is always there to make sure that I am on the right track and getting the best care for my personal situation,” Chris shares. “It can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience trying to navigate the best options to treat my disease, but he has been nothing but an amazing resource and guide throughout this process.”
Chris, his wife Erica, and his coworkers at The Devin Group decided to show their gratitude to Dr. Richardson and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by planning a Kentucky Derby themed fundraiser, “The Derby Dash,” in 2022. Year one was a success, so they hosted a second annual event this past May at a South Shore restaurant. Tickets were sold for $100 each and guests were invited to wear their festive Derby Day attire while enjoying the famous race and raising critical funds to benefit Dr. Richardson’s research. The event included food, live entertainment, a “Derby Game,” and a silent auction, including an opportunity to participate in Jimmy Fund Day at Fenway presented by DraftKings, a batting and fielding event at Fenway Park that Chris joined in 2022. More than 300 people attended, and the Devin family raised over $60,000, bringing their grand total to over $100,000 raised for Dr. Richardson’s research since 2022.
“The key to our success is that we have an amazing network of friends who are very generous and supportive,” Chris says. “At this point, we have grown the event strictly by word of mouth. Between our children’s school and sports activities, we know a lot of people in our community. We are very lucky.”
Chris and the Derby Day team already have their eyes set on their 2024 event, as they hope to raise $100,000 next year to help Dana-Farber continue to raise awareness for multiple myeloma and work toward a cure. “There are many options available to patients right now that were not available when I was initially diagnosed in 2020,” Chris explains. “I want to help Dr. Richardson and his team to stay on the cutting edge of treatment and continue to uncover new opportunities for all patients who are eager to find a cure. Dana-Farber is truly a special place. Every time I go in, I meet people from all over the country and world. I am beyond grateful that I live in the Boston area and Dana-Farber is right in my backyard.”
Chris encourages anyone thinking about starting a fundraiser to support Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, whether it’s big or small, to give it a try and don’t overthink it. “My wife originally started our fundraising efforts by trying to raise $2,500 on social media,” he shares. “I now realize that every dollar counts, and if you lead all of your efforts with the ‘why’ of who you are trying to help and what you are trying to accomplish for Dana-Farber, the sky is the limit.”
Support Dana-Farber patients and families, like Chris, by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.