Brookhaven, GA, April 7, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven resident Scott Raven will be running the 121st Boston Marathon on April 17th, along with more than 500 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) teammates from across the United States and around the world. Raven will run Massachusetts’ historic marathon route from Hopkinton to Boston to collectively raise $5 million for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Raven’s personal story goes back to August of 2014 when he lost his Mom, Margot Theis Raven, to triple negative breast cancer. “She dedicated herself to fighting the disease head on,” he remembers. “It affected myself and my siblings tremendously.”
Raven said his Mom was a vibrant, passionate woman that gave him a lifetime of wonderful memories, as well as being very accomplished herself as a published children’s author and avid painter. Now he has joined the fight to end Cancer once and for all.
In honor of his Mom, Raven’s sister Ashley joined the Dana-Farber team for the 2016 Boston Marathon. In preparation for her run in 2016, he trained along with her.
“I trained up to run the GA Publix Half Marathon as a good warm-up race about a month before the full marathon,” said Raven. “Running with Ashley on the streets of Downtown/Midtown Atlanta, and hearing the warm stories of the community of supporters and survivors she was a part of, I knew it was a cause I wanted to join.”
A year later, Raven says he’s been hard at work training for his own run in the Boston Marathon, and looks forward to proudly pinning on his number and setting out on the 26.2 miler. He says his preparation began in September of last year, starting with training up for the Thanksgiving Half Marathon here in Atlanta. After that race he took brief break before beginning his formal training in mid-December for the Boston run.
“In 2017 alone, I’ve run 317 miles in preparation, including a long run of 20 miles ten days ago,” Raven explains. “I’m currently in what’s known as a taper – slowly reducing my mileage to keep my legs fresh for the 26.2 to come.” He says he’s leveraging a program designed by Jack Fultz, who won the Boston Marathon in 1976, a program that combines targeted mileage runs and strength training.
Cancer is an ever-changing enemy, but through the dedication of teams such as the one at Dana-Farber, we will see a world without cancer – I truly believe it. – Scott Raven
After becoming a member of the 2017 Dana-Farber team himself and working on the fund-raising component, Raven says something hit him he wasn’t expecting – just how much this experience would affect him far beyond his own personal story. “Ultimately, this allows us to talk not about those we lost to cancer, but those who fought and won, which includes my father Greg and my sister Ashley,” explains Raven.
“One of my supporters, who was treated at Dana-Farber when she lived in the Boston area after having limited success with a different local hospital, put it simply: I would not be alive if it were not for Dana-Farber,” says Raven whose team directly raises funds for a program called the Barr Program, which fuels innovative basic cancer research through some of the most progressive scientists demonstrating the most creative and promising breakthroughs in cancer treatments. “Cancer is an ever-changing enemy, but through the dedication of teams such as the one at Dana-Farber, we will see a world without cancer – I truly believe it!”
Raven says Dana-Farber’s singular focus to achieving a world without cancer is second to none, both for adults and in pediatrics.
2017 marks the 28th annual running of the Boston Marathon for the DFMC team. Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners include cancer survivors and patients, and family and friends of those who have been affected by the disease. Each team member must fulfill a basic fundraising commitment where Invitational runners receive their entry from Dana-Farber and have a fundraising commitment of $5,000. Runners who join the DFMC team after obtaining their own race entry, have a fundraising commitment of $4,000.
In 1990, Dana-Farber was among the first charity organizations to be recognized by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A), which organizes the Boston Marathon. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team offers its members extensive fundraising support and training guidance. Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners who are not time-qualified for the Boston Marathon receive an invitational entry into the race.
Raven asks anyone who would like to support his efforts as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, and the effort to reach the ultimate finish line of a world without cancer, please do so with a contribution here http://www.runDFMC.org/2017/scottr
“Many of the people who have supported me are cancer survivors themselves or caring for people battling cancer, including two directly at Dana-Farber,” Raven told The Post. “The atmosphere and experience of running the Boston will be phenomenal, but it pales in comparison to what it means to be a part of this team and work to put end to cancer once and for all.”
One hundred percent of the money raised goes to Dana-Farber’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, which supports promising scientific research in its earliest stages. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge has raised more than $80 million for the Barr Program to date.
Dana-Farber sits at the center of a wide range of collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center provides the latest in cancer care for adults; Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for children. The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center unites the cancer research efforts of five Harvard academic medical centers and two graduate schools, while Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provides high quality cancer treatment in communities outside Boston’s Longwood Medical Area.