‘Mayor Casey’s Crew’ Laces Shoes for Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk

“You forgot to say ‘Walk Hero,'” Casey told his mom, sounding a bit like a superhero.

On Sunday, Casey and his family, including newborn sister Anna, will participate in the 5K portion of the annual event, which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.This year’s hike It will be the first in-person meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

As a walking hero, Casey will be given placards along the way with his picture and a quote – “Leukemia is not for me.”

Three-year-old Casey O’Donoghue batting. He’s about to “kick a guy out of the park” to raise money for the Jimmy Foundation clinic where he’s being treated for leukemia. Pat Greenhouse/Universal Staff

“He owns it,” Conor O’Donoghue said. “We never lied to him. From the beginning, we told him, ‘What’s going on, you’ve got sick blood.’ “He knows everything he does is to get better.”

The family named their walking team “Mayor Casey’s Crew,” a nod to the Teck’s infectious personality.

Kathy sat on the shoulders of his father Connor as he held a purslane flower from the family garden for his mother Katie to smell. His newborn sister is Anna. Pat Greenhouse/Universal Staff

“You can talk to anyone in the hospital, whether they’re a janitor, a doctor, or a nurse — whoever it is, they’re going to talk about him,” Conor O’Donoghue said. “That’s what he is. He brings smiles to people.”

Casey’s resilience has inspired others to support their fundraising team. They set a goal of raising $5,000, but so far they’ve raised nearly double that amount.

“We think we can target $5,000 to $1,000 [between our family and two others] — to see what we can do,” Katie O’Donoghue said. “Then we got eight of his daycare teachers on board, and they passed it on to the community. They are awesome and super supportive. “

His parents admired the strength of Casey and the other children being treated at the Jimmy Foundation Clinic.

“he is [at the clinic] Six hours today,” Katie O’Donoghue said Wednesday. “It’s a lot for a one-year-old, two-year-old, three-year-old. “

Even though Casey has been in remission since January, the treatment has taken a toll on them.

“When you think about cancer, you think about things like chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” she said. “But there’s a lot of other stuff in there. We’ve talked to physical therapists, nutritionists and psychologists. You don’t think your three-year-old might need to talk to a psychologist, the effects of steroids [treatments] affect his mood and body. “

That’s why the family is so grateful for the resources of the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

“I remember walking into the clinic the first day and seeing a guy leave,” Conor O’Donoghue said. “Today, it’s been a year for us. I saw a family walk in with tears in their eyes. It was obviously their first time here. No one was watching. [long treatment plan] and said, “We can do it.” But [then] You look at it and it’s over and they have a chance to get better. “

Katie O’Donoghue said her family was “very lucky” to be so close to the famous Jimmy Fund clinic.

“Some people travel from other countries to get these resources — and it’s only 10 miles from us,” she said.

Three-year-old Casey has been diagnosed with leukemia and has been named a walking hero for the 2022 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.Pat Greenhouse/Universal Staff

Camilo Fonseca can be contacted at camilo.fonseca@globe.com.follow him on twitter @fonseca_esq.

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