For BostonPosted: April 22, 2013
As a longtime runner and marathoner, I often find myself using running analogies on this blog to share similarities between distance running and patient safety (see previous ETY post The Healthcare Safety and Quality Marathon). Training for a marathon takes hard work and sacrifice, as does changing a healthcare culture. Similar to running a marathon, there are times it feels like we hit the same “Wall” in healthcare that runners can hit at mile 18-20. It is only through perseverance and determination that we push pass that wall and achieve the goals set many months before.
The Boston Marathon is the ultimate marathon for runners. It is athleticism and celebration at its finest for those fortunate enough to quality. Being an average runner, I have always lacked the times required to qualify for Boston…. but like many, have always wondered what it would be like to be running the streets of Boston that Monday afternoon each April.
Last Monday, it felt to many of us that we as a country may have hit the “Wall”. But watching the light in our collective hearts overcome unimaginable darkness, we pushed through that wall in Boston and across the country–continuing to rise above yet another emotional challenge put before us as a nation. As a city united, Boston made us proud. Their EMT’s, police and firefighters responded with amazing courage, determination and expertise. So did their medical community. According to all accounts, they were amazing – many of whom were marathon runners themselves, and who immediately changed into scrubs and worked the next 48-60 hours helping those harmed by this senseless violence. Runners immediately went to hospitals after the race and donated blood.
Similar compassion and support is also occurring across our country…people are running to raise money to help those harmed in Boston. Having had family members waiting for me near many race finish lines, my thoughts this past week have been fixated on those family and friends less fortunate. They came in hopes of celebrating with their loved ones – now they need our support. The links below share ways that this support can be provided.
Donations have poured in for Boston Marathon bombing victims, with more than $2 million collected via online “crowdfunding.” Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given for injured mother and daughter Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, Jeff Bauman (who first helped identify the bombers) and newlyweds Patrick and Jessica Downes, who each lost a leg, among others. This flood of generosity has raised concerns over fraud, since critics say the speed some crowdfunding sites allow for opening and collecting funds makes them vulnerable to abuse. But donors give anyway, and the biggest sites, such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and GiveForward say their vetting and self-policing minimizes the risks. People wanting to contribute to a general Boston fund, as opposed to individuals, are encouraged to go through The One Fund Boston Inc. [www.nbcnews.com]
While I know I won’t be able to qualify, I do know where I will be next April 21st – in Boston on Exeter Street near the finish line.