Give it up for the kids 2009: Red Sox

Give it up for the kids

The Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund.

They go together. What more needs to be said We live in New England, where the Sox sometimes seem like life and death, but this week we are reminded of the higher purpose and the greater good of the ball club&8217s mission. It&8217s late August and the Red Sox are on the bubble for a postseason spot, and today is the second and final day of the annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Every one of you has a chance to make a difference. Drop a buck or two in the slot next time you walk past a Jimmy Fund receptacle. Better yet, go to or call 877-738-1234 and make a pledge. The event has raised almost $17 million over the last seven years, and this year&8217s goal is $5 million - an ambitious quest in uncertain times. Do it in the name of Alexis, Michael, Amy, Kiki, and Patrick. My daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993 and had the good fortune to be treated at Children&8217s Hospital and the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Ted Williams, the godfather of Jimmy Fund advocacy, called Kate when she was 8 years old and bellowed, &8220You&8217re going to be all right, darling. I knew Dr. Farber and he always used to tell me, &8216Ted, we&8217re gonna find a way to cure those kids!&8217 You&8217ll be OK, and someday I&8217ll come up there and visit you!&8217&8217 After two years of treatment, Kate was OK and Ted did come up to visit her, and today she is a high school English teacher and softball coach. When people ask me how she is doing - people who remember the image of a 60-pound cue-ball kid throwing out a first pitch at Fenway - I tell them she is strong enough to beat me up. Everybody loves that. Kate is strong enough to beat me up because she was one of the lucky ones. Dr. Sidney Farber was right when he told Ted they were going to find a way to cure those kids. But it&8217s an evolving, ongoing battle - a fight with enormous pain and loss. It&8217s a battle that won&8217t be won until all the kids are cured, until all of the children are as lucky as Kate. It&8217s why today I speak of Alexis, Michael, Amy, Kiki, and Patrick.

You know them. They are the kids who were not as lucky as Kate. They are the sons and daughters of parents who will never be whole again. They are the brave young soldiers who didn&8217t survive the battle that was forced upon them. They are frozen in time, photographs and memories, forever 8 years old. The children who never got older.

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