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5/25/12: Emerson Hospital Auxiliary Hosts 12th Annual

Tobey Marchal of Littleton had mixed feelings about participating in her first Emerson Hospital Auxiliary 5K Run~Walk & Family Funday for Cancer in 2010. She was grieving for her mother, Debbie Sparrow of Bolton, who had lost her battle with breast cancer only three weeks prior to the event. At the same time, Tobey wanted to honor her mother’s caregivers and give back to others going through cancer treatment.

Because Debbie’s illness was “quick, but very intense,” Tobey said the family had gotten to know her physicians and nurses quite well during Debbie’s frequent trips to the hospital for treatment. A sociable person known for her positive attitude, grace, and generosity, she steered attention away from her own health and focused on her caregivers’ lives and well-being – to which she contributed by routinely bringing homemade banana bread.

“Once my mom opened her heart to you, it was hard not to love her back,” Tobey said. “She was not only a beautiful person on the inside, but she made sure to look her best, even when she was feeling her worst. She was just a very classy lady.” After a 13-month fight, Debbie succumbed to her illness at age 60 on May 22, 2010.

Tobey recalled that even after she crossed the start line at her first Emerson Hospital Auxiliary 5K Run~Walk, she still wasn’t sure she wanted to be there. In the last mile, however, she spotted a radiation oncology nurse, whom her family had gotten to know particularly well, volunteering at a water stop.

“Seeing her gave me such a good feeling,” Tobey said. “It’s what I needed to finish.”

On June 2, Tobey will participate in the 12th annual Emerson Hospital Auxiliary 5K Run~Walk & Family Funday for Cancer, which benefits Emerson’s cancer programs and services, to be held at The Thoreau Club field, 275 Forest Ridge Road in Concord. Sponsored by Concord Mews, Oracle, The Thoreau Club and Marx Running & Fitness Center, activities will include a barbeque, Tot Trot for ages 5 and under, 1-mile Kids’ Fun Run for ages 5-12, tie-dye T-shirt making station, inflatable obstacle course, volleyball, badminton and recreational swimming. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The Kids’ Fun Run leaves at 9:15 a.m., and the 5K begins at 10 a.m.

“This is a fun-filled, multi-generational event that keeps growing in participation, business partnerships and donations from the community,” said Karen Maines, president of the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary. Last year’s 5K Run~Walk & Family Funday for Cancer attracted nearly 450 participants and raised a record $42,000.

To date, Tobey has raised a combined total of $3,100 in donations; in fact, she was honored as the top individual fundraiser in 2011. She looks forward to her third consecutive 5K Run~Walk this year, cheered on by her husband, Christophe Marchal, and father, Rodney Sparrow, an Emerson Hospital corporator and board member of the Emerson Health Care Foundation who has become a regular volunteer at the event.

“It’s a great way to honor my mom while supporting Emerson, where she felt so comfortable,” Tobey said. “It’s very important to me that others get the same quality treatment and personal attention that she did.”

To register for the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary 5K Run~Walk & Family Funday for Cancer, visit 
http://www.firstgiving.com/EmersonHospitalAuxiliary/5krunwalk. Entry fee: $25 through Wednesday, May 30, or $30 day of event for ages 12 and up. Entry fee: $12 for Kids’ Fun Run (ages 5-12).

The Emerson Hospital Auxiliary supports the hospital with community awareness, patient support and fundraising activities. Those interested in becoming a member or learning about the Auxiliary may contact Karen McCarthy at (978) 371-2133.

Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton, and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.

The Emerson Hospital Auxiliary supports Emerson through increased community awareness, health-related education, and fundraising initiatives. Over the past decade, the Auxiliary’s fundraising efforts have helped to raise more than $2.4 million for hospital equipment, facilities, and services. For more information about the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary, visit www.emersonhospital.org.