Since 2000, DCU and DCU for Kids have partnered with other credit unions to support the Credit Unions Kids at Heart (CU Kids at Heart) program by participating in the Boston Marathon. Teammates raise funds for pediatric brain research projects undertaken by Boston Children's Hospital along with supporting patients and their families. The support provided to CU Kids at Heart by DCU and DCU for Kids is to help leverage the collective impact of credit union charitable efforts and to reflect the industry's belief in collaboration for a greater good.
While this year’s Boston Marathon may have looked and felt a little bit different than in past years, runners from DCU continued the credit union’s longstanding tradition of supporting their patient partners by running as part of the CU Kids at Heart marathon team during a virtual marathon held in September.
This year, DCU team members Stephanie Kepner, from our Tyngsborough, MA Branch; Jeff Anderson, from our Nashua, NH Branch; and Igor Ivno, from our Information Systems team, were part of the CU Kids at Heart marathon team. This marathon marked the second running for both Stephanie and Jeff, with Stephanie running in support of her patient partner Everett, and Jeff running in support of his patient partner Sammy. 2020 marked Igor’s fourth time being part of the CU Kids at Heart team supporting his patient partner Matty.
Instead of the traditional road race, Stephanie and Jeff chose their own 26.2-mile route and were required to run it continuously in one day. Stephanie and Jeff started their run at McKelvie Intermediate School in Bedford, MA and crossed the finish line at Greeley Park in Nashua, NH. Igor also ran a supportive half marathon, despite recovering from an injury that kept him from running with his DCU teammates this year.
Here’s what DCU’s runners had to say about their involvement:
“It’s an honor to be a part of this incredible family once again,” said Stephanie. “Everett and his family have been on the team for 10 years and are always there to support their runners. Their relentless courage motivates me and will inspire you to help children lead happy and healthy lives.”
As a former patient at Boston Children’s Hospital himself, Jeff, viewed the marathon as a way to give back to the hospital and help support the CU Kids at Heart team’s research directives. "It was an honor to run the 2020 Boston Marathon on behalf of my patient partner, Sammy, his family, and the CU Kids at Heart team,” said Jeff.
“I ran this year because I’m a parent myself,” said Igor. “As a parent, you do everything in your power to make sure your kids healthy, loved, and happy. Parents of our patient partners take it to a completely different level. Sleepless nights, frequent visits to the emergency room, daily routines that are hard to imagine … to give their kids the same love, same opportunities, and same happiness. These parents must not stand alone in their fight.”
Contributions by DCU and DCU for Kids to CU Kids at Heart have directly assisted in making clinical trials possible, new diagnostic tools, treatment breakthroughs and promising drug therapies, and much more. Since its founding in 1996, CU Kids at Heart has raised nearly $7 million towards fundraising directives.