At the 2011 Boston Marathon, one MassGeneral Hospital for Children Cancer Center patient reached another milestone in her recovery from cancer. Kristin Santanello, 20, became the first patient ever to join the MassGeneral Marathon Team. She successfully completed the run and raised more than $21,000 for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, where she comes for long-term follow-up.
Kristin was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 5 years old. She underwent chemotherapy for two years and the cancer has remained in remission.
During her treatment, her father, Daniel, decided to run the Boston Marathon to raise awareness of Kristin’s illness. He ran on the MassGeneral Marathon Team for 12 years in honor of his daughter, raising a total of $300,000. In 2011, he passed the torch to Kristin.
“My dad ran 12 consecutive marathons in my honor so he could somehow feel what I was going through,” Kristin says. “The fact that he would put his body through one of the most grueling marathons made this more than just a 26.2-mile run and reminded me about the importance of family and supporting loved ones.”