by Abby Canner
Among the thousands of runners in this year’s Boston Marathon will be one Cambridge mother of four raising money for Dana Faber Cancer Institute, 11 months after cancer took her own mother’s life.
“I just felt like I had to do something,” said Lynne Chuang, whose mother Ann M. McCabe died May 22 from multiple melanoma.
“My mom used to bring us to watch the marathon every year, so that I think is a part of it,” she said. “That and the fact that I needed to do something concrete, so no other family has to go through what we went through.”
Rindge Avenue resident Lynne M. Chuang (left) with her late mother Ann M. McCabe, who lost her battle with cancer May 22. Photo Courtesy of Elaine T. Honan
In 1970, the Boston Athletic Association, the race’s sponsor, added prerequisites to limit the field to 20,000 participants. Prior to the race runners must complete an approved marathon in a time designated by their age and sex to earn a race number, said Jack Fleming, the director of communication for the B.A.A.
Chuang said every year the B.A.A. sets aside numbers for charity runners, such as for her team the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.
Charities apply to the B.A.A. for invitational race numbers which they give to nonqualified runners who pledge to raise a minimum of $2,500 for their cause. The teams are selected based on the applicants fundraising goal and their reasons for wanting to join the team, she said.
"Rather than have unqualified runners run as bandits or run at the back of the pack, the charity program allows the B.A.A. to communicate and organize invitational runners," said Fleming.
Chaung said she decided to run the Boston Marathon in the summer and trained all through the winter, running alone or with other members of the DFMC team. Alewife Photo by Neil W. McCabe
"The charity program added the human element to the marathon," said Fleming. "Most people who are running for charity and raise $2,500 and upwards have a real driving force."
Many people who run with the charities feel a connection to the particular cause, he said.