I would like to take time out from the economic and political headlines of past issues to share with you a remarkable story this month. It is a tale of endurance, tenacity, strength, and commitment made possible by our staff here at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
On the morning of April 17, nearly 100 runners from Team Brigham, including many of our own caregivers, will be poised to meet the ultimate challenge, the 104th running of the Boston Marathon. Amid the thousands of hopefuls in this sea of humanity, maneuvering to secure a spot close to the starting line, will be one special runner for the hospital’s team. Her participation in the event should inspire us all.
While others will struggle along the hilly New England terrain, challenging their mental and physical endurance, Danalyn Adams Sharf will know that she has already met her greatest challenge and succeeded. In 1997 she received a heart transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the first step on the road to recovering her health. On April 17, 2000, that journey will continue as Danalyn becomes the first known female heart transplant recipient to run the Boston Marathon.
As members of Team Brigham chart their course in order to raise money to support the hospital’s community benefit programs, Danalyn’s doctors, David Adams, MD, and John Jarcho, MD, will watch with pride.
Danalyn’s example is not lost on us. Her dedication is emblematic of the entire BWH care team that provided her with another opportunity at life. Every day we face challenges in our examining rooms, observation units, operating rooms, and ICUs. Every day, we learn more about medicine and the impact of the work we do on the lives of patients who seek out our care. It challenges us and provides us with professional satisfaction. On some days, like April 17, 2000, the satisfaction index will be particularly high.
To Danalyn and the other Team Brigham runners: Best wishes for a strong and healthy race.