I am raising funds for Mount Auburn Hospital
Don Gillespiehas raised
of US$8,500 target
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My Story
I need your help. I'm raising money for Mount Auburn Hospital through the Beth Israel Lahey Boston Marathon team. Let me explain why this is important to me.

On August 25 2022, I drove my 35 week pregnant wife, Jenn, to the Mt. Auburn emergency room for what started as severe heartburn earlier in the day but escalated into extreme pain and trouble breathing. We were quickly taken to the labor and delivery floor where they ran an EKG and blood tests. A doctor came into the room and introduced herself as the person who would be delivering our baby. "Tonight?" Jenn asked. "No, right now" the doctor replied. The doctor explained Jenn had a severe case of HELLP syndrome. Being the over achiever that she is, Jenn had skipped the typical high blood pressure and launched straight into liver failure. They explained that her platelet count was so low they weren't sure if her blood would clot and the treatment for this was to deliver the baby even if she was 5 weeks early. It had to happen immediately.

Our daughter was delivered via emergency cesarean while Jenn was under anesthesia because they couldn't risk her bleeding into her spine from an epidural and I paced in the recovery room. When they wheeled our baby out of the operating room I followed her and the team of nurses down the hall to the nicu where they swarmed around her, connecting tubes and wires, while assuring me that our baby would be okay, and, no, I was not in their way.

After the longest, most stressful three days of my life, Jenn and our daughter, now Morgan, were stable and we settled into our new routine. Morgan spent 30 days at Mt. Auburn overcoming a "fairly serious" case of Respiratory Distress Syndrome while Jenn and I got to know how incredibly professional, caring, and helpful the staff of Mt. Auburn hospital is. Leaving your baby at the hospital when you go home at night is crushing. The fact that you know they will stop breathing multiple times during the night doesn't make it easier, but knowing that the nurses and doctors taking care of her are not only incredibly good at their jobs but also some of the nicest, most caring human beings I've ever met made it bearable. As she got bigger and went from unable to be held, to tolerating it, to never wanting to be put down, it meant so much to us that they would sit there holding her until she fell asleep. I could go on for pages about all the things they did for Morgan and for us, but I'll save you the reading and just say we will never be able to thank them enough.

On my walk from the parking garage to the elevator everyday I passed a flyer advertising the Beth Israel Lahey Boston Marathon team. I didn't think too much of it at the time, but it stuck somewhere in the back of my head. I've always been a runner, but struggled to prioritize consistent training time, so occasional 5k-10k races have been more my wheelhouse. One night, a couple of months after Morgan came home, I was sitting in the rocking chair with her after a late night feeding and that marathon flyer drifted back into my head. I realized it was an opportunity for me to both give back to Mt. Auburn, and selfishly, help myself as well. I realized the training would give me an outlet for working through some of the emotional trauma I'd been struggling to deal with. I signed up for a half marathon the next morning to see if I could make it work. Fast forward a few months and Morgan is my partner on long runs. She's a great motivator, she likes to nap in the running stroller, clap when people pass us, and point out all the dogs we see.

In summary, I'm raising money for Mount Auburn Hospital because:

1. The doctors and nurses at Mt. Auburn saved my wife and daughter's lives and while there is nothing in the world I can do to repay them, I want to do something.
2. Mt. Auburn hospital is a 12 minute drive from our house. Doing that drive multiple times a day for a month to spend time with Morgan hammered home how lucky we are to live in a place where you can get amazing medical care within your area. I think of this whenever I hear about a small community hospital on the verge of closing. I imagine how painful it would have been if that drive to see our daughter had been an hour.

Benefiting Charities

Beth Israel Lahey Health

Beth Israel Lahey Health

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The Event

128th Boston Marathon® Presented by Bank of America

128th Boston Marathon® Presented by Bank of America

Learn more
Don Gillespie
By Don Gillespie
Beth Israel Lahey Health