2007-03-22 / News

Dana Brodin will run a miracle marathon for Hailey Bogrett

By Adrienne Downing

Hailey Bogrett with Dana Brodin, who will run the Boston Marathon next morney to raise money for her medical care. Hailey Bogrett with Dana Brodin, who will run the Boston Marathon next morney to raise money for her medical care. Training to run a marathon can be a challenge for even the most seasoned runners, but for every stride she takes, Dana Brodin of Jamestown has an uncommon motivation.

Brodin is preparing to run the Boston Marathon on April 26. For Brodin the race is not about winning or getting the best time, but providing medical care and giving hope to patients at Children's Hospital Boston.

Brodin has teamed with Miles for Miracles to run for patientpartner Hailey Bogrett, a 2-yearold from Massachusetts.

Hailey was born with two holes in her heart. One month after she was born she had to have openheart surgery. During the surgery, doctors realized that Hailey did not have a thymus gland, which is responsible for helping to develop an immune system. She received a transplant from a boy that she did not know, but her medical issues did not end with that surgery.

When her parathyroid stopped working, her mother, Christine, donated one of hers to Hailey. Her family then had to go into isolation to ensure that Hailey's immune system was working correctly.

Hailey is now home, yet her battle is ongoing. Doctors are trying to figure out why the 2-yearold has not started speaking.

Brodin said Hailey is still able to get her point across.

"I was very impressed with Hailey. She really has that 2-year-old spirit where she thinks she can do everything herself and she lets you know that she can do it," Brodin explained. "She is very easy-going and social even with strangers, which is amazing when you think of all strangers do to her, like giving her needles."

Brodin learned about the opportunity to run for charity from a friend who had done it in the past. Brodin decided it was exactly what she wanted to do.

"I am an occupational therapist and just seeing some of the things that my patients have to go through is well-motivating for long runs," Brodin explained. "The decision to run for Children's Hospital was because they provide medical care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay for it."

She also said that almost all of the money raised through the program goes directly to patient care.

"I feel better about running for a charity where the money goes directly to the hospital and not the fundraisers," Brodin said.

The need for good medical care is well understood by Brodin, who broke her back as a gymnast during her freshman year at the University of New Hampshire.

To aid in her recovery, her father, a teacher, challenged her to run with him in the Ocean State Marathon.

"My dad and I did our first marathon in 1994, but when I started running I could literally run the length of two telephone poles," she explained. "After that I didn't run for a few years, but I started again about four years ago."

Brodin's two young daughters, 7-year-old Emma and 5-year-old Kensie, remind her that life can be fragile and that they could easily be the ones who need medical care.

"They haven't been able to meet Hailey yet, but they are going to as soon as they can. I think what I am doing gives them and me an awareness that they are very lucky," Brodin noted.

Recognizing this is what helps Brodin with what she feels is the most difficult part of the race effort.

"For me the fundraising part is more stressful than the race itself. I can train for the race, but it has been very tough to do fundraising this year," she said.

Running for the charity is a huge commitment for those that undertake it. Runners must sign a contract committing themselves to a $3,000 fundraising minimum and they are charged for any funds that they do not raise. This is to prevent runners from committing to a charity just to get into the race and then not raising the badly needed funds.

"I am happy to do this for her, because what needs to come out of this whole thing is her story and what an amazing kid she is, how great her family is and how important the work that Children's Hospital does is," Brodin concluded.

Anyone interested in supporting Brodin's run for Hailey may mail donations made to Children's Hospital Boston to 22 Mizzen Ln., Jamestown.

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