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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Holliston Mom to Run Boston Marathon Again For Her Son — and in Support of Pediatric Cancer Research

On Monday, April 17, Joanne O’Connell will once again run the iconic Boston Marathon route in memory and in honor of her late son, Tim O’Connell, who died of acute myeloid leukemia in 2008.  This will be Joanne’s 10th marathon and the ninth time she will be running the Boston Marathon.  
This year Joanne will be joined by Claire Picard, a long time Holliston teacher who taught Tim in third grade, as well as by Bobby Kiley, a Holliston native who, as the Panther football player who won the Timothy O’Connell Courage Award his senior season, knew Tim’s story and was inspired to run.
You can support Joanne’s, Claire’s, and Bobby’s runs and all the good works of the Timothy O’Connell Foundation at  Go to the EVENTS tab and click on the Boston Marathon, where you will find bios and links.  As Joanne stresses, “All dollars donated make a difference.  The Foundation donates all money raised to cancer-related causes.  Because many fundraising efforts for the The Timothy O’Connell Foundation had to be put on hold during the pandemic, our fundraising has suffered, so our community’s financial support is more important than ever to help fund the mission of the Foundation.”  
Following Tim’s specific wishes, the Foundation continues its support of Make-A-Wish.  Tim and his family experienced the joy of a Make-A-Wish trip in December of 2007, to Disney World.  Also following Tim’s specific wishes, the Foundation supports the Just For Sibs Program at Children’s Hospital Boston.  The Just For Sibs Program supported Tim’s brothers - Brendan, Matt, and Chris - during Tim’s illness.  
“Tim understood the great impact of that support for his brothers and for the siblings of other sick children,” said Joanne.    

The Foundation also continues its financial support of a research project named for Tim at the University of Minnesota.  Tim’s oncologist at Children’s Hospital Boston, Doctor Peter Gordon, is now at the University of Minnesota.  He is studying the FLT-3 mutation that so impacted the course of Tim’s cancer.  The Foundation continues to support the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, as well.  Tim was the recipient of an almost perfectly matched bone marrow donation from a stranger.     
The Foundation takes great pride in its Scholarship Program.  To date, nearly $150,000 has been donated to dozens of Holliston high school students who plan to study in health-related fields.  
“We are thrilled to help students become doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, researchers, and other caregivers.  It is an honor to be able to give back to the community in this way,” said Joanne.
The Timothy O’Connell Foundation has raised over $1.25 million dollars over the last 14 years, all of which has gone directly to support the Foundation’s goals.  Please consider helping further the mission of the Foundation by making a donation in support of this year’s Marathoners at