This month we take a trip through Newton (course miles 15.93- 21.35) and Brookline (course miles 22.45-24.70) to learn more about some of the organizations that benefit far beyond race day.
The City of Newton
Based in the City of Newton, Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast has been part of the community fabric for 18 years. They've been part of the organizations that benefit from race entries through Newton’s community program and the impact is felt deeply in the community.
CEO Deborah Youngblood
“Newton is a community of families, of people who care for each other and who live here so that their children can grow and thrive. Our milk bank supports families with premature or fragile babies, right through to healthy babies that need a healthy milk supply. The service we offer is life changing, and the funds we raise annually from the Boston Marathon allows us to do our work.
“Being chosen by the City of Newton helps us bring extra funds in the door and it also increases our visibility. Despite being around for hundreds of years, milk banking and the importance of donor milk isn’t widely known.
“When we cheer on the runners on marathon day, we are overcome with gratitude that our very own Maureen Cummings has trained so hard and is pushing toward the finish line to help make sure that every baby who relies on us for safe, lifesaving nutrition gets what they need.
“As a nonprofit, we’re used to doing a lot with little, and still pushing ourselves to help as many families as possible. Last year, we raised almost $8,000 through the Boston Marathon. This allowed us to provide more subsidized donor milk to families in need, to invest in additional lab equipment, and to educate more people about receiving and donating milk. When it comes to saving little lives, every gift is precious.”
When the organization was offered a place in the Boston Marathon in 2022, they jumped at the chance and Maureen Cummings stepped forward to take on the 26.2miles. This will be Maureen’s third year representing Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and she can’t wait.
“I am a pediatric nurse practitioner and have worked in pediatrics for the majority of my career so it is near and dear to my heart. Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast was the perfect charity for me to run for. They need to have their amazing work highlighted more and I am passionate about doing that. So many people – including healthcare professionals - are not aware of this organization and how important it is!
“This will be my eighth Boston Marathon and my third opportunity to celebrate this amazing organization and all the funds we raise and all the people who need it. I send positive thoughts and prayers to them all and this helps me get through those tough miles.
“I am technically a disabled runner (though I don’t consider myself as such or run in that category). I have had two spinal fusions most recently in 2017 and have four metal rods and hundreds of screws the entire length of my spine from T3-L5!!! I was told I would never run again but I get out there and show others that we can do hard things and not let a disability define you.
With the approval and support of my amazing surgeon, Christopher Bono from Massachusetts General Hospital, I have run five Boston marathons since that last spinal fusion. He is not only an amazing surgeon but has been a generous donor to the milk bank as well.
“I am truly blessed and grateful to be able to run and be part of the Boston Marathon and I can’t wait for April 15th to do it all over again.”
Deboarh shares her thoughts on Maureen saying: “Maureen’s energy is just incredible. It’s hard to imagine any runner more aligned with our mission and personally committed to it than Maureen. This is our third-year teaming up with her and she brings an unrivalled passion to running and fundraising. A true powerhouse, we’re very lucky to have her leading our team!”