Dan and $5761 for Jimmy 

JW 1A Geo by start

Captain George ready to lead

Thank you, thank you to the hundred plus beautiful people who donated to the Jimmy Fund, which supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Led by our captain and cancer-survivor George Derby (my weekly ping pong partner), eight of us on Team Barry will walk the last 10K of the actual Boston Marathon course on the penultimate Sunday of September 2018.

JW 1 at 30 sign with rawdings

Tip, Max, Owen, and Poppa at the Newton staging area

Driving a good hour south from Maine, we assemble in Newton, Massachusetts to collect our Jimmy Fund tee-shirts, bibs, and hats.  As one of the Top 250 fundraisers (#76!), I have earned special recognition including a sweet dry-fit Jimmy Fund tee-shirt.  Then in a surprise move, the volunteer offers tee-shirts and caps to our grandsons, Owen (6) and Max (4), and their dad Tip who have come to support me.  That volunteer, whom I refer to as the “gardener” has planted the seeds for three future Jimmy Fund walkers by her generosity.

JW 2A boys on trail 2

On Commonwealth Avenue with Max, Owen, and Tip

Walking a half mile to Commonwealth Avenue to meet up with some of the 9000 other walkers, Owen, Max, and Tip join me for the first mile of my walk.  With Sunday morning cars to our right, we four walk the sidewalks and town lawns towards Boston.

Over the next six miles, I have three refueling stops with bananas, apples, energy bars, cookies, peanut-butter crackers (a personal favorite), and bottles of water.

JW 3 passing BC

Gorgeous walking day in the 60s

As I walk, I call out to two women three feet ahead of me, asking about the names on the back of their shirts.  The names list friends and family of theirs who bravely fought cancer.  Another time, I chat up a woman who is walking the half-marathon (i.e. 13.1 miles) course to raise awareness and money for cancer research and the care of cancer patients.

Jimmy D and Mitch with NB shirts

Dan and Mitch walking with three of the NB team members

I ask another what the NB on her team tee shirt is for.  Neuro-blastoma – one nasty cancer that generally strikes kids under ten.  It seems forty have come from Chatham on Cape Cod to support a 13-year old girl who for the last nine years has been battling NB.

JW 4 G and D at finish

Captain George and his buck private flunky

Later, near the end I happen to walk beside Amy, the organizer of the NB team and, in fact, the mom of the 13-year old daughter with NB.  My big takeaway from our conversation is that caring for kids with cancer can take over your life.  The fears, the setbacks, the small victories consume everyone in its path.

How in the world do such families ever have the strength to go toe to toe day after day with such a formidable foe?  Basically it is very simple, they have no choice.  Their kid needs them to step up.  I believe, you, too, would rally the strength and courage if you had to!

JW 4B G's Living Proof

As a cancer survivor, George has earned the iconic yellow ball cap with  “I’m Living Proof”

After three hours of walking and learning the stories of others, our entire Team Barry crosses the finish line at Copley Square for our walking medals, clam chowder, creamsicles, pizza, and deluxe salads.

I know how fortunate I am to be healthy and fit enough to walk for all those touched by cancer and to have some many amigas and amigos to support my walk.

Thank you Adele, Amelia, Amey, a couplet of Anns, Anna, Anne, Anneli, Anthony, Barbara, Becky, Beth, Bills aplenty, Bob, Bobby, Brenda, Brian, Bruce, Callie, Cam, Carla, Chris, Cindy, Clarissa, Claudia, Cyndy, a few Daves, a few Debbys, Denny, Derek, Diane, Dixie, a pair of Dons, Donna, Duncan, Elsa, Eric, Genevieve, George, Gibby, Glenn, a pair of Janes, a duo of Jeffs, Joanne, Joel, John, Jon, Joy, two Karas, Karens galore, Kim, Linda, Laurie, dos Laurels, a helping of Lisas, Liz, Lou, Lynne, Mac, Mandy,  Mark or two, Marta, a Mary or two, Matt times two, Maureen, Maxine, some Mikes, Mitch, Molly, Nan, a passel of Nancys, Neil, Nolan, Norm, Pat, Patty, a sprinkling of Pauls, two Paulas, Penny, Peter, Rich, Rick, Richard, Ron, Sally, Sandy, Scot, Scott, Sheila, Shirley, Sue, Suzanne, Tammy, Tara, Targe, Ted, Tip, Tom, Tree, Wanda, Wendy, and Will.

JW 1AA Owen and Max with signs


JW 1B team barry at start

Team Barry (back row – Sue, George, Paul, Nancy, Neila, Diana, front row – Max, Poppa, Owen, and Mitch)


JW 3A team on the course

Team Barry approaching the Citgo sign near Fenway Pahk (Dan, Neila, Diana, Sue, Mitch, Nancy, Paul, and Captain George)


JW 3B D by boston strong

Within a mile of the finish, I head under the Boston Strong Bridge commemorating the many victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

Dan Updates and Thanks his Jimmy Fund Donors

Jimmy 30 with four

With Hannah, Max, and Owen, Dan rocks his 30th Anniversary of the Jimmy Fund dryfit shirt that goes to all Pacesetters (those who raise at least $1500)

My Jimmy Fund Walk for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute is a mere 13 days away on Sunday, September 23.  I have been preparing for this walk over the last 10K of the actual Boston Marathon course by playing lots of pickleball, working out at the gym, and hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  Many evenings I do walk the roads around our Chases Pond Road home with Hannah.

Jimmy 30 shirt with O, O, and M

Max (4), Omi, and Owen (6)

To date, thanks to you all, I have raised FIVE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE DOLLARS ($5761) for cancer research and the care of cancer patients.  Quite obviously, I couldn’t have done without you.  Thank you mucho.

Dan and Jimmy Thank My Donors – Update

Sox fenway park

The green monster at Fenway Park

Dear Dan’s Donors to the Jimmy Fund,

Thanks to your generous contributions to the Jimmy Fund to support cancer research and the care of cancer patients, I was one of the first 100 who raised $1500.  Consequently, the Jimmy Fund rewarded me with two tickets to a pre-game dinner at Fenway Park and to the June 28, 2018 Red Sox v Angels baseball game that evening.

The Jimmy Fund provided me with a win/win opportunity.  Win one – I gave Molly and Tip the tickets to go to the dinner and Red Sox game so they had a night out.  Win two – Hannah and I got to babysit our grandsons, Owen and Max, for the afternoon and overnight while Molly and Tip were on their date.

I present pictures with captions of these good times thanks to your generosity.

Sox M and T before they left

Tip and Molly decked in their Jimmy Fund gear before they head to the game.

Sox M and O on bikes

Once their parents headed south for the game, Owen (left) and Max (right) roar up and down the street in front of their house.

Sox O and M on slalom

With their Omi in the background, Owen in fluorescent green and Max in orange race up and down their cul-de-sac on a slalom course their Omi set up; something out of the 1950s

Sox M and T in JF square

Molly and Tip at the dinner as one of 100 guests of honor

Sox taco thursday

While at home, Owen and Max enjoy Taco Thursday (carrots with humus in the foreground)

Sox M and T at game

Molly and Tip take in the game where the Red Sox beat the Angels 4-2

Sox Brooks

All the while our four day old grandson, Brooks Archer Rothermel, son of our son Will and his wife Laurel, rests peacefully in central New York

Love and peace,

Omi and Poppa

PS To date I have raised $4621 towards my goal of $5000.  I literally could not have done it without you.  Muchas gracias.



Dan and Jimmy Want You on Their Team

You probably correctly guessed that I am the “Dan” of the headline Dynamic Duo.  The Jimmy is the Jimmy Fund that raises money for cancer research and the care and treatment of cancer patients.

JImmy D and G

George and Dan at the 2016 Jimmy Fund Walk

Recruited by my weekly ping pong partner, George Derby, to join his “Team Barry,” I am taking to the streets of the Commonwealth to raise money to battle Cancer, the Powerful; but with your support, maybe not for long.

Barry was George’s friend who died at the tender age of 65 from cancer.  George is a walking miracle himself as one who has faced throat cancer and come out smiling.

On Sunday, September 23, 2018, I will be walking the final 10K (6.2 miles) of the actual Boston Marathon course to support all the families and patients and doctors doing research to solve the cancer mystery.



Our Team Barry begins at 10K point just before Heartbreak Hill

Please consider “joining” me as I walk by donating to the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.

To make a contribution online, visit my personal page http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/site/TR?px=1004734&pg=personal&fr_id=1060

To send a contribution, mail to:
Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk
P.O. Box 3595
Boston, MA 02241-3595

Make all checks payable to: Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk and put

Dan Rothermel #1004734 (my Jimmy Fund ID #) in the message space.  

Let me know if you send a check.


Jimmy and Danny thank you.

PS This is my second Jimmy Fund Walk.  In 2016, I walked with George for Barry and others on a magic Sunday in late September.  Click here for that blog.

Jimmy cancer institute

A little more about the “Jimmy” of the Jimmy Fund from 1998 by Dan Shaugnessy of the Boston Globe

The man whose story launched the Jimmy Fund, New England’s favorite charity, is alive and well, hauling groceries across the land in his 18-wheeler. On Friday night, the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Jimmy Fund, the real Jimmy will be introduced at Fenway Park before the Red Sox play the Yankees.

In 1948, (Carl Einar) Gustafson was a 12-year-old cancer patient at Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sidney Farber picked him to represent every child with cancer and dubbed him “Jimmy.” While America listened to Ralph Edwards’s popular “Truth or Consequences” radio broadcast, the audience heard “Jimmy” receive a surprise visit from members of his favorite baseball team, the Boston Braves. They hoped to raise enough money to buy him a television set so he could watch baseball games from his hospital bed.

At the insistence of Dr. Farber, the father of modern chemotherapy who died in 1973, Jimmy’s identity was never revealed. As years passed, and the Jimmy Fund grew into an army of doctors, nurses, clinicians, patients, volunteers, and fund-raisers, there was less and less mention of the little boy whose story spawned the miracle. Cancer survivors were rare in 1948, so even those who work for the Jimmy Fund assumed the child had succumbed to the disease. So Jimmy became Everychild, a symbol of all youngsters with cancer.

Dan Walks the Boston Marathon course for the Jimmy Fund 2016

Waking predawn to 42F on the kitchen window thermometer, I stretch, have my daily bowl of oatmeal with raisins and sunflower seeds, and think this is going to be a one helluva day.  More than the weather, which is predicted to be bright and sunny this early fall Sunday, I get to walk the final six miles of the Boston Marathon course to celebrate my fundraising for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Nearly five months ago, my weekly ping pong buddy, George Derby, asked me to join Team Barry as a fundraiser/walker.  As a great friend to George, Barry made it a party wherever he went.  I only met Barry late in his life when we played doubles ping pong together.  Though with great humor he fought cancer, Barry passed on more than a year ago.  We walk in his honor and to celebrate George’s life of being cancer-free.


Speaking of George, what do you think of this?   George has a button he will wear today that doesn’t say he is a cancer survivor; it says I’m living proof.   How cool is that!  Living proof that cancer can be beaten.

As of this morning I have raised 94% of my fundraising goal of $2500 by collecting $2360 from friends and family.   I am pleased that our in-laws, Paula and Bob and also Sandy, supported my walk.  Classmates from a hundred years ago at the College of Wooster and Arizona State University donated to the cause.  Our kids stepped up.  It’s all very cool.


George with our grandsons Owen to the left and Max

Today we walkers can choose to walk the full 26.2-mile marathon course, a 13.1-mile half marathon, a 10K of six miles or a 5K of three miles.   Our Team Barry led by Captain George chose to walk the 10K.  As such, I’ve been a slacker in my prep.   I figure I can walk six miles in my sleep since I hike, play pickleball, and work out at the gym.  I shall soon see if I am right.


Dan with Owen and Max at Boston College

Arriving at the Newton campus of Boston College, we five of Team Barry have stepped up and raised over $8865 as a team.   Then a great morning turned even better.  You see, our son-in-law Tip has brought our grandsons, Owen (4) and Max (2) for support.  While our daughter Molly and my wife Hannah are at a bridal shower, the three Rawding men take part in the pre-Walk festivities supporting their Poppa.


Our son-in-law Tip with Owen and Max supporting their Poppa

While the other four of Team Barry head out, I stay back with Owen and Max at the festive starting line as they drink the Gatorade, nosh on a banana, and save a small bag of natural vegetable sticks for later.

First posing with my grandsons and Tip at the starting balloons, we walk as a family to the course itself on Commonwealth Avenue.  With Max in a backpack, Owen skips along the stone wall to our right, which borders the Boston College campus.


In no time, we spot a sign for Owen’s Army, take pictures, and hug good-bye; they return to the starting line a mile away and I begin my 6.2 miles in earnest, hoping to catch the other four of Team Barry.

But truth be told, I am in no hurry.  In shorts and my Dana Farber Pacesetter tee shirt (I am a Pacesetter because I raised over $1500), I am loving life on a blue sky early fall morning.  With walkers to my front and back, I look for someone to talk with, just knowing that they will show up today; I don’t have to stress to find them. Very Zen!

Spotting three seniors who look older than the senior that I am, I soon learn they started in Wellesley, MA, where the half-marathoners began.  Impressed that they have walked this day 22 times, I feel rookie proud to be in their company.


Hair Cuttery spinning wheel

Soon we cross Commonwealth Avenue for the aid station at the 21-mile mark, meaning I have walked my first mile.  Fifteen port-a-potties greet the runners, but also the Hair Cuttery spinning wheel.  Always up for free stuff, I spin their dial, land on the lip balm, and then boldly ask for the sunglasses instead.   Like everyone at the Jimmy Fund Walk, they are agreeable, pleasant, and accommodating and give me the classy orange sunglasses without making me beg.


Grabbing a small bag of dried vegetable sticks, I head out for Boston, five miles away.  With college kids everywhere, supporting a friend or family member, they like me had to raise at least $300 to walk.


With 9400 other walkers who have raised over $8.3 million, I am always in the midst of energetic, good-hearted souls; it’s never crowded and once I come upon someone, I strike up a conversation.

I meet up with Barb (pseudonym), a nurse practitioner (pseudo-profession) and learn about her life and she about my family, where I’ve lived, and my career in education.  It’s all very pleasant, she’s cool, but then there’s the awkwardness.  You know…

…maybe you have been at a barbecue or cocktail party, and you just want to move on.  How does one disengage gracefully with a slower walker?  For me, I skip the BS of excuse making and just say, Good talking to you, nod and smile in appreciation, and motor on.


Break stops occur every mile with bananas, Gatorade, peanuts, peanut butter crackers, and bottled water; the ever present port-a-potties are to the back.  Easily distractible, I still have no idea where Team Barry is, but just amble on.


Fenway Park

Approaching Fenway Park, we walkers have agreeable Brookline officers, then smiling Boston police ushering us across the busy city streets at lunchtime on this first Sunday in fall.


Turning down Hereford Street to Boylston Street we are on the home stretch to Copley Square.  No is one nudging or sprinting as one might do in a road race.  As we walkers approach the colored balloons marking the end of our trek, I hear over the loud speaker at the finish line, “There’s Dan Rothermel of Team Barry.  He’s come down from Maine.  He is a Pacesetter and we thank him.”  Immediately, I wonder, How does he even know my name?  I smile at the unexpected attention.  And then it hits me.

I remember at road races in York, Maine where we live that the finish line announcer has a computer that he can punch in the bib number of any participant to get all the basic info that he wants.  It’s all very cool.  It’s one of the many nice touches done at the Walk.


Another nice touch is the Weathervane clam chowder waiting for all walkers at Copley Square; then there are the Domino’s Pizza slices, the Au Bon Pain apple Danishes, and the Stonyfield Organic vanilla yogurt that we five of Team Barry feast on.  It’s a day where each walker is treated like royalty.


Dan, Gerry, Gail, George, and Neila of Team Barry

Riding school busses 15 minutes back to Boston College, we all are a little mellower after three hours walking the streets of Newton, Brighton, Brookline, and Boston, Massachusetts.  In the bus I post a picture on my Instagram and Facebook accounts and am already thinking about writing this blog.

Fact is, hours after coming home, I order 45 Jimmy Fund Walk pictures from Snapfish to send with my thank you card to the many folks who have donated in my name.  Still pumped, I sit down before I head to bed and type out a first draft of the blog you are reading.

Reliving my day on the keyboard is just so much fun; it’s as if my face just swallowed a smile.  This is a Sunday like no other.


Captain George and First Mate Dan

If you haven’t and still would like to donate, click on this link to go to my fundraising page directly.   The Jimmy Fund is accepting donations for the next two weeks.  http://www.jimmyfundwalk.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1145126&lis=0&kntae1145126=60CDEA50E9FB48F28CAD9BC54338B563&supid=436593997