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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > marathon to make a difference, why me? —exotic travel and terrific goals

Marathon to Make a Difference, Why Me? —Exotic Travel and Terrific Goals
Your Marathon, your awesome effort should pay off. Travel to Quebec City, Dublin, Ireland, or Bermuda with the Why Me & Sherry’s House All Star Team, and make it count.

Marathon to Make a Difference, Why Me? —Exotic Travel and Terrific Goals

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Friday, 24 March, 2006

Run a marathon and create memories for a lifetime. Meet new friends, and travel to wonderful locations. You can do it! You can! The Why Me organization, conceived and dedicated to helping kids—and their families—battling cancer, has a terrific opportunity for all runners. Distance running experience is not required, but the end result just may be the experience of a lifetime. This, my friends, is for adventurous, caring people.

Not only will they be training and organizing teams, but also travel to these locations will include a four or five day vacation destination experience. Beautiful Quebec City will be the first opportunity, with travel from August 26 to 29. The famous Dublin, Ireland Marathon trip will be October 27 through November 1, 2006. And the enchanting Bermuda Marathon trip will be January 12 to 16, 2007.

If you are not up to running a full marathon, but want to participate in the travel and the program, Quebec City offers both the full marathon and the half; walkers are welcome for the Dublin Marathon; Bermuda includes a half marathon, and a 10K run or walk.

Information and planning sessions are planned at Sherry’s House, 1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. The sessions will be Sunday, May 7, and Wednesday, May 24th, both at 6:00 p.m. However, you need not attend these meetings in person to sign up for the team. Training begins in June for their Quebec and Dublin teams, and in September for the Bermuda team. For more information visit their Website at, or call Founder and Sherry’s dad, Terry Shepherd, Executive Director for Why Me & Sherry’s House at 508 757-3311, or by e-mail at terences@sgllp or call training coach, Deb Greenslit at 774 234-0089

Are you ready to travel to beautiful international locations to run your next, perhaps even your first marathon? Are you looking for the right opportunity? Make your marathon goal doubly rewarding by joining a great cause. Talk about accomplishment! Talk about satisfaction! Celebrate your health while helping kids and families coping with childhood cancer. This is the one! The full marathon has been your goal, your challenge. Make it a memorable one, and do some real good through your efforts.

Sherry’s House is a special healing place, a respite, a home, really. It is vital, integral to the fight against childhood cancer. Some refer to it as a magical place. Why Me and Sherry’s House provides essential support and encouragement that is so tremendously important in the healing process.

Join the Team and Accomplish Your Marathon Goals
There is nothing quite like finishing a marathon, and joining this team can make it tremendously meaningful. After this experience, your life will never be the same. Your efforts can truly make a difference; you can be an important, essential part of this critical mission. At the same time, you can enjoy a fantastic holiday of distance running and exploration. Tour Quebec, Dublin, or Bermuda. What better way to celebrate health and fitness?

Fortunate are those who are able to run a marathon, or to run at all. For most, all it takes is the decision to do so. Some who may benefit from your accomplishment, however, cannot run at all. Their battle, their marathon is for life, for living, perhaps just to gain enough strength to get though treatment. Why Me and Sherry’s House can help in this fight, but only if you help them.

Consider celebrating your health and good fortune while helping to ameliorate the devastating effects of cancer for kids. Help address the complex health needs of children and the devastating financial impact on effected families. Run your marathon to make a difference for Why Me and Sherry’s House, and for those they serve. Every step you take, and every dollar you raise can make an enormous contribution.

Benefits for You
This is how you benefit from this program: Join us from around the country! Reach your fundraising goal and the Why Me organization will pay for your airfare from anywhere in the USA to Dublin or Bermuda (transfers included for Boston departure only) along with four nights and five days of lodging, and entry fees (guaranteed entry) plus, much more. For our New England team, professional training and coaching will be provided, and training runs arranged. For our team members coming from elsewhere in the USA, training schedules, coaching and fundraising help will be available.

Anyone can qualify by simply meeting the minimum fund raising challenge. You will experience the benefits of coaching, training, and running, while knowing you are helping others. And you will likely make life-long friends in the process. Team members also receive training and help with fundraising.
To join the team or receive more information on the marathon program, you can also contact Event Coordinator Deb Greenslit at (774) 234-0089, (508) 954-2090, or e-mail, or contact Executive Director Terry Shepherd at, or (508) 757-3311.

How You Benefit Others
Yes, this marathon opportunity is a fund raising program. But it is one that helps provide for the outstanding services provided by Why Me and Sherry’s House.

In exchange for the travel and support, you will raise money for Why Me and Sherry’s House, and participate in the training provided—either the training sessions in Worcester, or on your own or with your own group elsewhere.

You will find the fundraising easy. The Why Me organization will show you how. Everyone will want to join and support your goals; enlist family, friends, co-workers, and others in supporting your training and funding effort. Develop your own personal fan club. You will be amazed at how simple this can be—and for such a tremendous reward. Haven’t participated in a fundraiser? It’s no problem when you know the funds you raise support outstanding and necessary care for kids.

Building Memories and Traditions
This is the 7th year in a row the All-Star Team has been running. Together, they have raised almost $700,000 to build Sherry’s House and to support programs to help kids with cancer! The All Star Team’s recent outings included the Disney World Marathon this past January, and they will be running next in Paris, France on April 9, 2006. Before that they ran a very successful Las Vegas Marathon. Their program began with the Bermuda Marathon in 2000, and everyone is excited about returning to Bermuda next January. And there is also tremendous excitement with the addition of Quebec City and Ireland.

Where They are Going
Quebec City is a wonderful destination. It is the capital city of the Province of Quebec, and occupies a spectacular setting along the broad St. Lawrence River. It is America’s only walled city north of Mexico, and seems to have more of a European flavor. The Lower City along the river, and the Upper City with the landmark Chateau Frontenac above the cliffs make for an impressive site. It was originally the Indian village of Stadacona, and Samuel de Champlain established a trading post adjacent to the village in 1608.

Dublin is, of course, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland. It is a seaport, and commercial and industrial center located on the mouth of the Liffey River at the head of Dublin Bay, an inlet of the Irish Sea. Most of all, Dublin is a city of history and traditions: Museums, literature, brewing, Waterford Crystal, whisky—tours and traditions are wonderful. Norsemen established a village on the site in the 9th century, and then they were kicked out by the Anglo-Normans in 1170. The economy of Ireland is the best in the European Union, and the sounds and sights of the city cause one to enjoy a major metropolis, but also homey, small town friendliness. You will want to return, once you have a taste of Ireland and Dublin.

Bermuda is a string of islands totaling only 20.6 square miles, but they pack a lot into these islands—and it is beautiful. It is 568 miles off the coast of the United States, but seems a world apart. Shaped like an elongated fishhook, it is made up of over 300 separate islands, with a “Main Island”. It is surrounded by coral reefs (the northernmost in the world), and the color of the water is unforgettable. The islands are clean and colorful as well. The marathon is fairly flat. In fact, the highest point on the islands is 268 feet. You will also find it comfortable in January with an average temperature of 57 degrees. Trees, shrubs, and flowers make for a beautiful, exotic tour. And there are surprises, such as the museum dedicated to the American Civil War. Once again, once you experience it, you will want to return.

Who They Are
Why Me & Sherry’s House helps families remain psychologically and financially sound through the devastating treatment process, and, when necessary, during the loss of a child to cancer. No family is ever turned away. Not only are their services available to all Central New England families, but also families have come from Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York for a stay at Sherry’s House while receiving their child’s treatment. They take referrals from any hospital in central New England.

Proof that this charity is very different, very special: The comprehensive care and support provided is absolutely free for all children and families; support is long term because the effects of cancer are long term, no matter the outcome of treatment; The Why Me organization is independent of any national or hospital affiliation, an independent and certified non-profit; amazingly, their administrative costs are an incredibly low 6.34%, so nearly all money raised goes directly to programs to help their families.

Why Me has been helping families of kids with cancer since 1985, and Sherry’s House, a facility that houses and cares for families, opened last year. It is not a medical facility. It is dedicated to healing—healing in two ways. They help children recover from cancer and intensive medical intervention; and they help families heal when bereavement support becomes necessary. Soon to open will be Ben’s Activity Center which will house one floor for activities for teens and one floor for activities for the little ones. The third floor will house their Family Comfort Suite available for families who do not wish to spend end of care for their child either at home or in the hospital.

Why Me & Sherry’s House is also home to many activities and events: Social visits and ongoing support, family fun and games, mentoring and survivorship, a cancer resource and research center, the Children’s Learning Center, and it is the administrative and organizational home of Why Me.

Why Me and Sherry’s House facilities are at 1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01602. Their phone is (508) 757-7734, and fax is (508) 757-5119. At present they are serving 325 central New England families, and the demand is growing daily. Check out the Web Site at

What They Do
Why Me provides help with all aspects of dealing with a child’s cancer. This includes the child herself, of course, but also parents and siblings. Why Me & Sherry’s House provides assistance for lives irrevocably changed, no matter the prognosis or outcome. All support and services are offered to the whole family completely free of charge. And that is why this marathon program—and your efforts—is so important.

Program Highlights
In battling cancer, information is key. Experienced and sensitive staff and volunteers will personally “walk” with family members through the treatment process and well beyond, personally connecting them to support and resources.

Comforting Children is vitally important. Daily visits include teddy bears, games and toys, puppet play, refreshments, and laughter. They celebrate birthdays and treatment milestones, and offer loot from the “Treasure Chest” when kids complete a painful procedure. Hosting children for concerts, sports events and day passes to fun attractions has proved tremendously successful. Complementary therapies like massage and acupuncture are offered to help reduce pain. The Why Me Sibling Support Program is dedicated to helping brothers and sisters cope with the many changes and difficulties that cancer brings.

Family daily living support is essential. The program provides housing during cancer treatment, transportation, meal and food assistance, childcare, and Parents’ Necessities Kits (prepaid phone cards, toiletries, playing cards, and other essentials that help them get through long hospital stays).

Emotional support is one of the most important resources. When going through cancer treatment, especially childhood cancer, it is reassuring to connect to someone else that has been there. Volunteers and staff can offer support and guidance. Connecting child-to-child, mom-to-mom, family-to-family has far-reaching benefits for coping. Emotional support components include individual support, mentoring, social support clubs for parents and kids, family getaway retreats, and end of life and bereavement support.

Family fun is ongoing. Yearlong events and activities are designed to bring the whole family together with others, solely for the purpose of having fun and sharing. Events include: Clown “Clinic”, Tornadoes Baseball Adventure, Summer Luau, Halloween Party, and a Christmas Party. These fun events have proven to be invaluable to interaction and healing.

Family direct financial assistance helps to overcome financial worries and concentrate on the job at hand—healing. Families can receive financial assistance for items such as rent, mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, clothing and funeral expenses. Financial planning and debt management services are also available. Their In-Hospital Fund pays for critical food, communications, and transportation needs while in treatment.

Educational support is needed to help keep current scholastically. Retired teachers, college interns and volunteers help patients and siblings remain academically successful and connected to learning.

Respite, hospice, end of life, and Bereavement Support are the strongest components of the program. Staff and volunteers at Why Me & Sherry’s House help families meet the day to day challenges of caring for a child dying of cancer. Bereavement support helps them cope with the loss of a child. For example, in conjunction with Paul Newman’s highly recognized Hole in the Wall Camp in beautifully rural Eastford, Connecticut, they sponsor a bereavement retreat to help with the healing process.

Make It Your Adventure, and Your Cause
Make your marathon a life-changing event and a double triumph of the human spirit. They need your help. Join the Why Me & Sherry’s House All Star Marathon Team and your marathon can help heal and positively impact the lives of those most in need. You can run the Quebec City Marathon on August 27, 2006, Dublin Marathon October 29, or the Bermuda Marathon January 14, 2007. You can be there. You can do it. Training for Dublin & Quebec begins in June. Bermuda training begins in September. So, sign up now to be a part of the Why Me & Sherry’s House All Star Marathon Team. They can help you run in these exotic, memorable locations, and you can help them--and help the families that depend on their unique services. What a difference! What a goal!



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