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Prego poised to Marathon for hospital
By Rob Borkowski/ Staff Writer
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Theresa Prego knows what it’s like when your child needs serious medical care, and she’s had the blessing of receiving that care from the Boston Children’s Hospital, which is why she’s running her fifth Marathon to benefit the institution.
    About five years ago, Prego said, she learned both her daughters, Gabby, 10 and Mia, 4, had medical conditions that were going to require long-term care.
    Although Children’s Hospital often gets credit for treating kids with terminal diseases like cancer, Prego said the doctors at Children’s Hospital were more than able to deal with long lasting, but not necessarily fatal, conditions.
    "I think, in fact, that’s where Children’s is stronger," Prego said.
    When Prego learned about the opportunity to run to benefit the hospital, she said, she was already a regular runner and was convinced the Hospital was a good cause.
    "It seemed like a really good opportunity and a way to get involved," Prego said.
    She hit the streets, and not just for training to prepare for the Marathon. Prego managed to raise $8,000-$10,000 each time she ran.
    The minimum required fundraising needed to run the Marathon for the Hospital is $2,500, but, "She typically goes beyond the minimum," said Colleen Sullivan, coordinator for Boston Children’s Hospital Marathon program, "I think she’s totally dedicated to Children’s Hospital."
    That fundraising helps the hospital provide the sort of long-term and focused care that so impressed Prego.
    "When it’s your kid, you want someone who’s dealt with kids," Prego said. At Children’s Hospital, she said, it’s not just the doctors and nurses - the building itself and the way it operates is built with children in mind.
    Clowns visit children’s rooms, the entrance is colorful and sports a big giraffe, and when a parent wants to stay overnight, the staff is ready to accommodate and encourage the decision.
    "I think the doctors are very specialized on treating kids," Prego said.
    Training to tackle the 26-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston, at first, did lead Prego to consider less strenuous ways to contribute to the cause.
    "Especially as I was training I was definitely thinking that," she said, but, over the years, she said she’s come to enjoy the rigorous effort for the cause she believes in.
    "It’s a little bit addicting," she said.
    "I think the reason for that is that she truly believes in the cause," Sullivan said.

Theresa Prego will run the Boston Marathon April 17 to benefit Children’s Hospital. (Courtesy photo)
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