Jimmy Fund Walk raises $30K to fight cancer

Contributed photoThirty-five area residents raised $30,000 to fight cancer at the Niverville Jimmy Fund Walk.

NIVERVILLE — Nearly $30,000 was raised to help fight cancer at the Jimmy Fund Walk in Niverville, local organizer Susan Hinkel Leader said.

This is the 27th year Leader has participated in the Jimmy Fund Walk.

Her first walk was in 1994, after she lost her 12-year-old son, Jason, to a rare form of cancer, Leader said. Jason was treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The annual walk is usually held in Boston, taking the same route as the Boston Marathon, to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, but was changed this year to include many small, hometown walks, because of COVID-19, Leader said.

About 35 participants walked 5 miles along Niverville streets for close to five hours.

“We had originally set our goal at $20,000, but raised it to $30,000 when the smaller goal was reached, long before our walk started,” Leader said.

The Jimmy Fund originated in Boston in 1948, and is comprised of community-based fundraising events and other programs that, solely and directly, benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, according to the Jimmy Fund website.

The Jimmy Fund was started by the Variety Club of New England.

“Jimmy” was a 12-year-old leukemia patient named Einar Gustafson. Einar was selected to speak on Ralph Edwards’ national radio program, “Truth or Consequences,” which was broadcast from the boy’s hospital room on May 22, 1948.

The boy was given the name Jimmy, to protect his identity.

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