A Bay State cancer-fighting fundraising team did so well running in the cold in their skivvies that they’ve been declared the best in the Bay State and nation.
The 70-plus members of the “Cure NF with Jack” joggers clocked in with $65,000 raised from the Cupid’s Undie Run in Boston. It’s all for the Children’s Tumor Foundation for neurofibromatosis, or NF.
Boston also came in first in cities across the nation in fundraising totals, clearing over $178,000.
It was all for kids, including a 9-year-old and 3-year-old with NF who inspired team members to brave the cold after they met the children years ago.
Team member Rebecca Soulliere of Leominster said it all “started nine years ago” when a friend asked her “to do this crazy run” for charity.
“I figured it was a one-and-done until I met Jake and Jack Burke,” she said of the team’s namesake and his father. “Jack was merely 9 years old and so damn cute with his brother Luke in their red union suits. I was so taken by the family I knew I would be back.”
Not long after her first undies run Soulliere learned that her friend and fellow city resident Maria Joffrion’s “beloved son” Tommy, whom she has known since he was 3, was diagnosed with NF on top of battling chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML.
“I just committed myself personally to this cause as long as I am able,” Soulliere said. “I’m committed to breast cancer based on personal experience but this is just near and dear to my heart.”
NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and affects 1 in every 3,000 births.
The Undies Run was held at Game On! on Lansdowne Street last month. The job takes dressed-down runners along Lansdowne and through Fenway Park.
And the children the team honors each year are now teens doing great.
“For an entire decade now, hundreds and hundreds of Bostonians, our friends, our families, and their friends and families have come together not simply to raise money in a crazy run in their underwear,” dad Jake Burke said. “What they’ve done is tell my son Jack and all those battling NF that they are not alone, and that is everything.”
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