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 and Hannah Tithe – Theme and Variation


Wayne and Nancy Turley are longtime friends from the ten years we lived in Arizona (c. 1970s).  Wayne was an instructor of Hannah’s during her flirtation with counselor education at the Harvard of the West, The Arizona State University.  While a student of Wayne’s in the spring semester, Hannah invited the two of them to dinner at our first home in Tempe.  And a lifetime friendship was born.


I bring up these two dear souls as they are the first Mormons we ever knew.  Growing up in New York State (Hannah) and Jersey (Dan), we did not know a single Mormon.  Moving to Arizona changed all that and the universe introduced us to Nancy and Wayne.  (By the way, Arizona has the third most Mormons of any state.  Any idea which states are the Top Two.   Okay, Utah is a no brainer as #1.  #2?  See the answer at the end of this blog.)

As Mormons, Nancy and Wayne give 10% of their income (tithing) to the church.   But here’s the cool part, they feel blessed to tithe.  In their own words,

I always feel grateful to pay my tithing.  I also feel it is a connection to God that is strengthened each time I willingly do this.  I am also happy to think that my money will help someone or somewhere else in some small way–and that helps me feel a love and concern for others even if I don’t know them.

Many churches encourage tithing.  Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance describes tithing as returning some of your wealth to the Spirit.  Tithing, which goes back to the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans, allows us to express our gratitude with action.


The mechanics of tithing involve taking one tenth of all the money you receive – from earnings, gifts, or interest/dividends – and regularly donating it to the church, temple, mosque, or other spiritual organization of your choice.


And as an aside, if you don’t know Simple Abundance, go to Amazon before you finish reading this blog and order copies for all the women in your life.  It is a daybook of comfort and joy for every day of the year to inspire and blow you away with its wisdom and common sense.  Sarah is brilliant!  Hannah reads it daily and has gone through it completely seven times in the last 15 years.   Click here for a summary of Simple Abundance.

Back to tithing.   One recent Sunday morning, Hannah and I listened to Edwene Gaines speak of the four spiritual principles of prosperity.   Prosperity is far more than wealth.  It includes being happy, having good health and satisfying relationships.  Click here to learn more about the four spiritual laws of prosperity.

Number one on her list is tithing.   What a concept!  One’s prosperity comes by giving!   Though typically tithing is giving to support a certain house of worship, Hannah and I have a variation on that theme.

Looking at our income, we came up with a number to give away each month.  So, our “tithing” is to find two organizations or people or families to give our monthly donations to.


This past August, we gave to Give Kids the World, which provides a weeklong, cost-free vacation in Central Florida to those families with a child with a life-threatening illness.  Our family was a recipient of the generosity of Give Kids The World back in 1988.  Click here for the GKTW website.

JF 5B  D at finish line closer.jpg


The other half of August’s tithing was to the Jimmy Fund, an organization that raises money for the care of patients with cancer and research into cures for that disease.  This past September I raised $2380 for the Jimmy Fund as a 10K walker.   Click here for my blog of that experience.

On our recent travels to the Northwest, we met a wonderful woman on our trip to Mount Rainier.   Only later, as we began to communicate by email, we learned that she had a grandchild with cancer.  One of our September tithing gifts was sent to her to buy groceries and gas money.   How cool is that… for us!


Recently Hannah saw a My Breast Cancer Support fundraiser where we workout at Coastal Fitness in Kittery, Maine.   One of our October tithes stays local.  Having three loving presences in our lives who are breast cancer survivors, we know that each received a card letting them know Hannah and I have them in our hearts.  Our tithing deepens our connection with those three women.  Click here for more information on My Breast Cancer Support.


Another local group gets our other October tithe, End 68 Hours of Hunger, which addresses the roughly 68 hours of hunger that some school kids experience between the free lunch at school on Friday and the free breakfast Monday morning.  Click here to learn more about End 68 Hours of Hunger.

This December we donated to the St. Thomas More Food Pantry of the Roman Catholic Church in Durham, NH.  In light of the recent election with the Republicans about to control all three branches of government and hellbent on defunding Planned Parenthood, we supported this women’s health organization this month.  Click here for more information about Planned Parenthood.

You know, Nancy and Wayne nailed it.  Tithing is a blessing and our lives, and we are the richer for it.  As ones who are very fortunate, we can’t sit idly by.

Top states with Mormons – 1. Utah and 2. Idaho

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

Danny and Jimmy Need a Little Help from their Friends

The Jimmy of which I speak is the Jimmy Fund.

Jimmy Fund posterThe Jimmy Fund started in 1948 to help a 12-year-old cancer patient dubbed “Jimmy.”  On a national radio broadcast, millions heard the boy visit with his heroes from the Boston Braves as they stood by his hospital bed.  At the time Boston had two baseball teams, the Red Sox and the Braves.  People everywhere sent contributions in to help buy Jimmy a television so he could watch the Braves play, launching an effort that continues to bring hope to thousands of children and adults facing cancer throughout the world today.

On the morning of Sunday, September 25, 2016, I will walk the final six miles of the Boston Marathon course to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.  To date, I have raised $1800 on my way to $2500.

I will be entering the Marathon course mere yards before the legendary Heartbreak Hill.   I’m pumped for what is called “the steepest hill you will ever run,” or walk in my case.  After that, I’ll pass through Boston College.  The Eagles haven’t been the same since Doug Flutie left campus with his Heisman Trophy in 1984.


I’ll then be heading down Beacon Street, to later pass by the Green Monster of Fenway Park (pronounce Pahk).  Then finally I’ll cruising by Copley Square on to Boylston Street to the finish line.  Click here to get an excellent mile by mile account of the Boston Marathon course.

CMF 4 Mt Rainier on Ramparts trail

Dan, the Jimmy Fund Walking Man warming up near Mount Rainier

Please consider donating, even $10, to this cause at my official Jimmy Fund webpage?

Click on this link to go to my fundraising page directly.   http://www.jimmyfundwalk.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1145126&lis=0&kntae1145126=60CDEA50E9FB48F28CAD9BC54338B563&supid=436593997

Or you can send a check payable to “Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk” with my name in the memo line.  Send it directly to the Jimmy Fund Walk lockbox at

Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, P.O. Box 3595, Boston, MA 02241-3595

I am walking for our friend Barry Fletcher, who, with joy in his heart, battled cancer as long as he possibly  could.  With our team captain George Derby, we walk in his memory.


Celebrating Robyn’s 35th Birthday

As many of you know, Hannah and I have a personal connection to cancer; in our case it is childhood leukemia.  We are eternally grateful to all the people, whom we never met, who donated money for cancer research in the 1980s.  Because of them, our four-year-old daughter Robyn, when diagnosed with leukemia in December of 1985, had a chance for a long life.  She was treated in Boston and Portland, Maine and turned 35 this past Wednesday (September 7, 2016).