Laura is partnered in the Patient Partner program with five-year-old Patrick Skiba, of Newburyport, a patient in the Jimmy Fund Clinic. For the 3rd year in a row, Laura will run the Boston Marathon in his honor.
Patrick is one of 24 Jimmy Fund Clinic patients participating in the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) Patient Partner Program. Patrick was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia just after turning two years old in 2008. Laura has become close with Patrick and his family through her runs.
"Patrick seems to be really, really enjoying this whole program," said his mother, Candi. "He loves Laura. He and his brothers greet her and her mom with big hugs. He looks forward to the events and he tells me he's 'king for the day'."
Laura used to work on the Jimmy Fund Golf team and met Patrick after she learned about the DFMC and decided to sign up.
"I feel so lucky to have been paired with Patrick and the entire Skiba family," Laura said. "I have really enjoyed watching Patrick and his two brothers, Joey and TJ grow up. I honestly never thought I would run a marathon and yet here I am about to run my third! The entire journey has been amazing and I can't see myself not doing it. Running for a cause truly makes it so much more motivating and rewarding. When I worked at the Jimmy Fund I would visit Patrick at the JF Clinic. Every single time I visited he was running around like a happy normal boy with so much energy and that huge smile. Moments like this really showed how special and strong this little boy is."
Patrick is now out of treatment and doing "beautifully," Candi said.
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