Steve Davis ’69 ran the Boston Marathon for the fourth time this year. A member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Oncology marathon team, for the past three years, he’s run “with” his MGH patient partner — a young boy undergoing treatment for leukemia. Happily, his partner finished those treatments last summer, and so Davis ran to celebrate his progress.
Davis discovered the MGH team shortly after he lost his wife, Ginger ’69, to cancer in 2011. At Ginger’s request, he had set up an endowment to fund scholarships at the hospital’s Institute for Health Professionals for nurses studying to become nurse practitioners. It was during a casual conversation with an MGH development officer that he learned about the team.
The winter proved to be a tough one for training; but Davis, who was a member of the Nordic ski team at UNH, used this winter’s copious snowfall to his advantage, logging many miles of aerobic training on his skate skis.
Before Marathon Monday, Davis said he was looking forward to mile 20, where the families of MGH patients and runners will assemble and cheer them on. “It’s just before Heartbreak Hill,” Davis says. “Hundreds of kids are there, cheering. It gets us through the final six miles.”
The first year Davis ran Boston, his daughter was at mile 20 with her two children. “I looked up into a sea of yellow T-shirts and heard this yelp. It was my daughter. She ran down to where I was and we ran up Heartbreak Hill together. I will never forget that moment.”
Originally published in UNH Magazine—Spring/Summer 2015 Issue