Previewing The 2024 Boston Marathon & Meeting the Project Purple Runners

collage featuring: Boston sign that says Mile 26 with the Boston Marathon logo, a runner with a Boston Marathon medal and Project Purple singlet, a runner with her dad both displaying bosotn marathon medals, sign that says "Welcome to Hopkinton. It all starts here."

Last year, our Project Purple run team announced that we had become an official charity partner of the Boston Marathon, making us only the second pancreatic cancer charity to partner with five out of six of the World Majors! Now, we are excited to turn the streets of Boston purple as an official partner to the marathon. We are starting a new tradition at this historic race and can’t wait to see what this team will accomplish from here.  

New Experiences with the Project Purple Community  

Running the Boston Marathon means running with our incredible Project Purple community, all of whom are dedicated to the fight against pancreatic cancer. Throughout our time in Boston, we will welcome runners and their families to our newest Project Purple tradition, and connect with others who have been touched by this disease. 

Historic Boston Course

The Boston Marathon is not only one of the largest races in the world, it is also one of the oldest. Athletes have been running this course since 1897. This historic course begins on Main Street, Hopkinton, a town outside of Boston. From there, runners will follow the course toward Boston’s city center, passing through beautiful towns like Natick, Framingham, and Wellesley. Along the way, athletes will get to see sites such as Heartbreak Hill, Boston College, and the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

This race, along with the city itself, has a rich history, making it one of the most iconic marathons in the world. We cannot wait to introduce our Project Purple run team to this amazing course!

Meet the Team

All of our Project Purple runners have their own WHY for running with us. Let’s meet some of the people who will be making a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer at the Boston Marathon! 

Bill Nugent

Bill started running as a way to enhance his physical health, but now, he’s set on becoming the first person in Project Purple’s history to complete all six of the world’s major races with our charity. He will be running the Boston Marathon in memory of his mother, Patricia, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012. Sadly, Patricia passed in 2014 after a courageous two-year battle with the disease. Bill now has a new purpose for running– helping others cope with pancreatic cancer. 

“It gives purpose. Every step has a reason,” Nugent explained when asked about why he chooses to run with Project Purple. “Within the group, we talk about finding your WHY. Why am I going out and running again this morning? Because that way someone else doesn’t have to go through what Mom went through…Running with Project Purple gives all of the miles reason.” 

To learn more about Bill’s journey to Boston, please visit our blog! If you would like to help support Bill on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Jaclyn Kawka

Jaclyn has always been an avid runner. When she first got into the sport in 2014, her mother, Linda, was right there at every race, cheering her daughter on. She was always there to celebrate her daughter’s success with her after she crossed the finish line

When her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2022, Jaclyn’s life came to a crashing halt. Linda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on May 22, and passed away on June 3, only nine days after her diagnosis. Her mother’s short and highly tense battle with this disease left her daughter reeling, and ever since, Jaclyn has been trying to find her way back to the starting lines. 

Now, she is getting ready to run with Project Purple for the 2024 Boston Marathon. To learn more about Jaclyn’s journey to Boston, please visit our blog! If you would like to help support Jaclyn on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Joseph Cammarata

Joe Cammarata is getting ready to participate in his first marathon. He started running about three years ago and has not looked back. He’s a proud father of three boys Vinnie (7) Will (5) and Charlie (3). When he’s not running, he’s working at his bar, Daiquiris and Daisies. 

Now, Joe’s taking on the Boston Marathon to raise money for Project Purple in memory of his father. He’s currently running a fundraiser to help raise money for Project Purple. For every $25 donated, participants will be entered in a raffle to win gift certificates to local restaurants, rare whiskey, and other fun items in Melrose, MA. For more information on Joe’s raffle, check out his Instagram @joeycamm.

If you would like to help support Joe on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Lindy Myers

Lindy and her father bonded over their shared love of running. Together, they ran countless races, but she will never forget when she ran her first marathon, the Boston Marathon, alongside him. Crossing the finish line together meant the world to Lindy. 

But, when her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2023, running has taken on a new meaning for Lindy. He continues to face treatment during her training cycle. Now, she is putting her and her father’s favorite sport to good use to support other patients going through their own pancreatic cancer journeys. She is beyond thankful that her father will get to witness her cross the finish line, once more, in Boston!

If you would like to help support Lindy on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Richard Griffin

Richard Griffin is running the Boston Marathon as part of the Project Purple run team to raise money for pancreatic cancer research and patient financial aid after the loss of his father to pancreatic cancer. If you would like to help support Richard on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Jodi Ann Baccollo

Jodi never saw her mother’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis coming. Though her mother was experiencing many of the symptoms related to this disease, her family didn’t know what they meant. A few weeks ago, Jodi took her mother to the hospital. After several tests, doctors came back to the family with a diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer. 

The disease progressed rapidly for Jodi’s mother. She became bedridden and extremely weak. Three and a half weeks after her diagnosis, Jodi moved her mother into hospice care. After a difficult and short battle, her mother passed away from this disease. 

Before her mother’s diagnosis, Jodi had previously signed up for the Boston Marathon. However, after her mother’s passing, she wasn’t sure if she could still run the race. But, she decided that she would push forward, as her mother would have wanted her to. 

“Knowing I’m already in the race with qualifying time, I don’t need to raise money but I WANT TO FOR HER!” Jodi wrote on her fundraising page.  

If you would like to help support Jodi on the road to Boston, please click here to donate!

Thank you to all our runners for taking on the Boston Marathon with us. We can’t wait to see you on race day!

Making a Difference on the Sidelines At Our Cheer Zone!

Just because you may not be running the race doesn’t mean you can’t still make a difference. One of the best ways you can support our Project Purple community is by helping us cheer on our runners. We will set up our cheer zone at the top of Heartbreak Hill in Newton, Massachusetts. We encourage everyone to stop by and help support our runners; our cheer zones are an amazing experience for all involved. 

We treat our cheer zones like one massive party! With music and everyone decked out in their Project Purple finest, it’s like diving into a sea of purple. We will also have massive flags, megaphones, and cowbells for our cheer squad to use to help cheer on our team. We encourage everyone to stop by and help support our runners! 

Come be a part of one of the most historic and prestigious running events on the planet while raising money and awareness for a world without pancreatic cancer! 

Thank you to all our runners, and we can’t wait to see you cross the finish line in Boston! If you are interested in helping out our team, please click here to donate! 

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