- Every dollar donated goes toward Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
- Chris Doktor, Sarah Doktor, Nirajan Puri (our son-in-law), Gail Doktor, Jessie (our daughter and sister who lived with leukemia and died following two relapses) and many family members and friends have been involved in the Pan Mass Challenge for over 20 years: riding, volunteering, or supporting!
- For several years, our daughter Jessie was a poster child for this event (see picture below). Then we started riding.
- Niru (Sah’s husband): https://profile.pmc.org/NP0115.
- Chris (Jessie’s dad): https://www.facebook.com/donate/291562150211015/
- We ride, not just to remember and honor those who lived and died due to cancer, but for friends and family now living with cancer or flourishing as survivors. You know them: they’re your friends in this tight-knit community!
- Children and adults in local communities and around the world continue to be treated by the Jimmy Fund Clinic, Dana Farber, and its affiliated hospitals including Chldrens Hospital Boston, Mass General, Brigham & Women and others. Local cancer centers and oncology clinics use treatment protocols researched, developed, and constantly updated by Dana Farber.
- For 18 years, our team has been big, small, solo, and combined! We’ve been the inspiration, the energy, the organizers, the pedal-partners, the cyclists, the safety vehicle, the start-and-finish line volunteers, the midway water stop volunteers, and sometimes the storytellers. We’ve ridden for two days and over 180 miles and often for one day. Different routes, same cause! Your support makes all the difference .Many of our own local community members are treated in nearby oncology centers which all use trusted protocols and cutting-edge treatment developed by Dana Farber.
Every year, Institution for Savings underwrites our annual holiday installation at Castle Hill during the Christmas and New Year season. Their support allows Bright Happy Power, whose volunteers create this installation, to allocate those funds to a week of Polar Express Christmas fun for oncology and transplant patients at Childrens Hospital Boston. We remember what it was like to spend holidays in the hospital!
We sponsored installations for a World Tree (Tree of Life) mythology winding up the stairwell in the Great House at the Crane Estate/Castle Hill. Additionally, we worked on bringing to life the Christmas legend of the poinsettia from Mexico, the lunar new year and lion dancer stories from China, and winter myths in a polar room featuring stories illustrated by Haida artists and other tales brought to life by Inuit writers and artists.
Annually we organize a paper crane drop. Often this coincides with the Floating Wish Lantern launch that is part of a wider community Illumination event along the river.
Our longtime friend Dr. William Tan, now a transplant and cancer survivor himself, as well as scholar, healer, and athlete who has overcome polio, returned to Boston to complete another Boston Marathon! He has finished several of them, including the memorable year he carried Jessie over the finish line on his lap!
Update: Enjoy a few snapshots from lunch after the marathon, and a selection of images from the past.
Each year we decorate at least one room, usually the stairwell, using a theme chosen by the Trustees of Reservations. Institution for Savings sponsors the installation, and then the funds are used to support Christmas activities for cancer and stem cell transplant patients at Childrens Hospital Boston!
Like all other aspects of life, the hospital’s annual Polar Express week will change due to COVID19. This has been the signature event originated and supported by Bright Happy Power for oncology and transplant patients on several units of Children’s Hospital Boston.
This year, all celebrations take place bedside with family-only, supported by staff. Visitors and volunteers are not permitted.
As well, we have been asked to change the nature of the donations. The greatest needs are for everyday essentials and comfort items for patients, parents and siblings. We will provide funds to be used by hospital staff to develop a variation on Polar Express week that meets family needs while continuing to offer fun as well.
Additionally, the hospital cannot permit external donations of any items this year, but must order all the supplies from their own vendors. Your donations to Bright Happy Power will bring holiday cheer to the bedside of pediatric cancer and hematology patients.
In early December, patients and families at Childrens Hospital Boston enjoy the start of a week-long winter festival that highlights the Christmas book Polar Express. The event also includes several days of interactive holiday crafts and activities, and culminates with distribution of “Believe” brass sleigh bells.
This tradition began several years ago, and remains our annual program at the hospital for pediatric cancer and transplant patients, siblings, and families. The festival has expanded to include additional units, with contributions of pajamas, slippers and other essentials by many organizations.
We thank the Trustees of Reservations for welcoming our exhibit at the annual Christmas open house at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. That exhibit is underwritten by the Institution for Savings, whose sponsorship then allows us to fund and organize this Polar Express event at Children’s Hospital Boston.
This year, we continued the annual tradition of decorating the Great House at the Crane Estate for Christmas, filling it with origami paper cranes and other hand-crafted paper-based decorations. The theme this year was a vintage Christmas, so we featured many 1920s Christmas portraits and card images. These included children and families surrounding Christmas trees, flappers dancing, Harlem men and women in fur coats, and young immigrants gathered around an Ellis Island Christmas tree, among many images. Light-hearted vintage Christmas images also made an appearance: dogs and cats, sleighs and snowmen, and Santa (of course).
Volunteers helped prepare and hang these historic images in the Grand Staircase. We thank the Trustees of Reservations for welcoming our exhibit at the annual Christmas open house at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. That exhibit is underwritten by the Institution for Savings, whose sponsorship then allows us to fund and organize this Polar Express event at Children’s Hospital Boston.
About the Childrens Hospital Event: In early December, patients and families at Childrens Hospital Boston enjoy the start of a week-long winter festival that highlights the Christmas book Polar Express. The event also includes several days of interactive holiday crafts and activities, and culminates with distribution of “Believe” brass sleigh bells.
Jessie’s Floating Wish Lanterns return to the river and Ipswich Illuminated this year on the evening of October 5th. Come by to write a wish, light a light, and set it adrift on the river. Participation is free; donations support seasonal programming for pediatric cancer patients at Childrens Hospital Boston and Dana Farber, plus other sites.
Kayakers retrieve the lanterns and candles at the end of the evening, for fire safety and environmental sustainability.
On Monday, April 15, 2019, Dr William Tan returns as a wheelchair athlete in the Boston Marathon. He has been participating in this race for 17 years, and is a worldclass athlete, setting records on different continents during his lifetime.
The Doktor family’s connection to the Boston Marathon goes back to 2002, the first year that Dr William Tan, a wheelchair athlete from Singapore, partnered with Jessica Doktor to compete in the Marathon and raise funds for Childrens Hospital Boston. He continued to race every year, and notably carried Jessie across the finish line on his lap in his regular push chair one year. He shared his medals with Jessie and her sister Sarah.
Ironically, Dr. Tan was diagnosed with leukemia, and spent time undergoing chemo, radiation and a successful bone marrow transplant, before once more returning to the United States for several years to compete again in the Marathon. He continues to participate, in part, to draw attention to and raise funds and awareness for Bright Happy Power!
Other athletes have also raced in honor of and memory of Jessie, raising funds for Mass General Hospital and Dana Farber as well as Childrens Hospital boston.