October 22, 2004
The Boston Red Sox: Champions of Cancer Research
Red Sox and Jimmy Fund are winning team in the fight against cancer\
The Boston Red Sox have always been champions, according to the patients, doctors, nurses, and researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through thick and thin since 1953, the Red Sox have supported the search for cures at Dana-Farber through its Jimmy Fund, the team's official charity.
"The Red Sox have been both an inspiration and a comfort to our researchers and patients," says Institute President Edward J. Benz Jr., MD. "We congratulate them on their magnificent win over the Yankees and cheer them on in the World Series, just as they have been cheering on our efforts for more than 50 years."
The Red Sox ALCS win was a team effort involving coaching, hitting, pitching, and lots of heart. So, too, the Red Sox support of the Jimmy Fund takes many forms. Players visit pediatric and adult cancer patients to help brighten their day. Management gives the Jimmy Fund access to Fenway Park for fundraisers and benefits. Red Sox wives participate in events and hold fundraisers. And, the team's announcers help promote Jimmy Fund events and sponsors over the airwaves, helping to make the Jimmy Fund New England's favorite charity.
Thanks in large part to this long-term commitment, tens of millions of dollars have been raised to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber. And, as the team gets ever closer to that elusive World Series title, contributions to the Jimmy Fund — boosted considerably by the visibility of the charity's relationship with the team — are helping Dana-Farber dramatically improve cancer treatments for children and adults worldwide.
"When players stop by the [Jimmy Fund] Clinic, it brings such joy to kids who are going through some very tough times," notes Holcombe Grier, MD, clinical director of Pediatric Oncology. "These guys have a job to do, but the fact that they come, and put so much into it, proves that they are fantastic human beings as well as fantastic players."
Lee Nadler, MD, (left) and Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, Dana-Farber's president, throw out the first pitch at a recent Red Sox game.
Over the more than two decades that Williams wowed Red Sox fans, he also took the time to regularly visit the bedsides of children fighting cancer and help raise funds for the ever-expanding efforts of the clinicians and researchers at Dana-Farber.
Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski led the 1967 "Impossible Dream Team" to vote a full player's share of their World Series earnings to the Jimmy Fund. "I think we were as proud of that as we were in all that we accomplished that season," says Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews, second baseman on the 1967 Boston Red Sox.
Pitcher Bob Stanley, a longtime supporter of the Jimmy Fund, became another parent roaming the halls of the Jimmy Fund Clinic when his son, Kyle, was treated successfully for a rare form of cancer at age 9.
The commemorative logo on Fenway's famed "Green Monster" is the most obvious symbol of the Boston Red Sox' continuing support of the Jimmy Fund. "The Red Sox are part of the fabric of this city, and the Jimmy Fund is an inseparable part of the Red Sox," says Red Sox CEO and President Larry Lucchino, a cancer survivor who was treated at Dana-Farber in the 1980s.
"Cancer research has been accelerated, and we are making advances almost every week," adds DFCI President Benz. "The Red Sox and their fans have been a big part of this progress, and we're proud to be playing on the same team."
For more information about the Boston Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and how they are working together to win in the fight against cancer, visit http://www.jimmyfund.org/redsox.