A‌ ‌Legacy‌ ‌Continues:‌ ‌Erin‌ ‌Fenerty’s‌ ‌mission‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌those‌ ‌battling‌ ‌cancer‌ ‌

On March 27th, 2022, over ten thousand runners will participate in the, Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon and 7K race. Each of these runners is driven by his or her own motivating force. Some will run for the sake of fitness, others for the camaraderie of friends, and some to prove something to themselves. For runner, registered nurse, and beloved daughter ,Erin Fenerty, the Love Run is an opportunity to continue the legacy of her father to support cancer patients and their families through their darkest hours.

It seemed like a normal day of high school classes for Erin at Germantown Academy, the place her father was a beloved member of the faculty. Jim Fenerty, Erin’s dad, taught a few classes each year but was best known for his decades of coaching the basketball team and leading the athletic department. On this day, Erin sat in her father’s classroom for his Civil Liberties course when she noticed something wasn’t right. Jim’s entire right side of his body had suddenly gone numb.

After the school nurse determined Jim’s blood pressure was dangerously high, an ambulance was summoned and he found himself on the way to the hospital. A short while later, Jim was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called ,polycythemia vera. Treatment began immediately and included anti-platelets and oral chemotherapy. While Jim was not one to complain, Erin suspects her dad suffered more from his disease than he led his family to believe.

Jim didn’t let his diagnosis slow him down or stand in his way in serving the community. An avid supporter of Coaches versus Cancer, he fundraised to provide as many resources as he could to those battling alongside him. On his free days, Jim offered himself to patients who lacked transportation to their appointments and treatments by driving them where they needed to go.

With so much passion, positivity, and dedication to the welfare of others, one may wonder how Jim was able to take care of his own care and treatments. Nothing mattered more to Jim than his family, and his youngest daughter was prepared to step in to ensure her father never fought alone. With her help, the struggle to find the right medication regimen, the frequent hospitalizations and blood tests, and the severe fatigue became more manageable. Erin Fenerty found herself shelving her new psychology degree in pursuit of a career as a nurse and now works at ,The Children’s of Philadelphia.

“I became a nurse, then became his advocate. I went with him to his appointments and helped with his meds,” Erin told me. She, along with the rest of her family, formed a rock-solid foundation that Jim could lean on anytime he needed the support.

Jim continued to teach and coach for 9 years after receiving his diagnosis, taking care of himself, going for daily walks, and going for blood work every three weeks. His quest to support fellow cancer patients also continued straight up until his last days. After spending a wonderful day with his family, Jim Fenerty went to sleep and never woke up.

Grief is very hard,” Erin noted. “There are no words to capture the immense amount of emotions.” The Fenerty family and the community came out in force to celebrate the life of their beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and coach. Although Jim’s flame had been extinguished, his legacy to help cancer patients remained like a bed of glowing coals waiting to be fanned to life.

Erin Fenerty knew there was work to be done. Her father’s passing meant his shoulder was no longer there for his fellow cancer warriors to lean on. “I promised myself and my family I would continue my dad’s legacy and keep doing what he was doing.” With a burning drive to continue her father’s legacy, Erin sought out her longtime friend Meghan McVeigh. Meghan has worked closely with Legacy of Hope for several years now, has participated in both the ,Philly Runs Free and the ,PHL24 events, and is a sponsored athlete for the ,2022 Love Run. Erin saw an opportunity through Legacy of Hope to run for a purpose.

Erin and Meghan, both driven by the loss of their fathers, combine their love for running with the incredible mission to provide emergency support for cancer patients and their families. Erin told me, “I love running, so I signed up for Love Run and realized I could make an impact. [Legacy of Hope’s] mission is unbelievable and correlates with how my dad wanted to live his life.”

Through the Philly Runs Free program, Erin was able to register for the Love Run and set up a ,fundraiser, the proceeds of which go directly to Legacy of Hope’s mission to ensure no family loses their home or goes without food because a loved one is fighting cancer and no promising cancer research goes unfunded. Her impact is already palpable with thousands of dollars being directly converted to groceries for financially-distressed cancer patients and offsetting laboratory costs for the most promising new treatments and cures.

Cancer is our common enemy. Whether it is a parent, a sibling, a close friend or colleague, we ALL know someone who is battling or has battled cancer. Erin reminds us, “Hold on to your support system. Support, wherever you get it, is what will get you through. Don’t be ashamed to lean on them if you need it. It’s what brought my dad and me closer together.” On March 27th, 2022, Erin and thousands of others will become that support system for Philadelphia’s cancer families.

It is our hope that you will join us at ,PhillyRunsFree.com so you, too, can make an impact. Any participant who raises $250 or more can run the Love Run for free! Visit our ,event page for more details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Legacy of Hope Blog

Loading

Mike 2

Ut convallis, sem sit amet interdum consectetuer, odio augue aliquam leo, nec dapibus tortor nibh sed augue. Integer eu magna sit amet metus fermentum posuere. Morbi sit amet nulla sed dolor elementum imperdiet. Quisque fermentum. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis xdis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque adipiscing eros ut libero. Ut condimentum mi vel tellus. Suspendisse laoreet. Fusce ut est sed dolor gravida convallis. Morbi vitae ante. Vivamus ultrices luctus nunc. Suspendisse et dolor. Etiam dignissim. Proin malesuada adipiscing lacus. Donec metus. Curabitur gravida

Ut convallis, sem sit amet interdum consectetuer, odio augue aliquam leo, nec dapibus tortor nibh sed augue. Integer eu magna sit amet metus fermentum posuere. Morbi sit amet nulla sed dolor elementum imperdiet. Quisque fermentum. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis xdis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque adipiscing eros ut libero. Ut condimentum mi vel tellus. Suspendisse laoreet. Fusce ut est sed dolor gravida convallis. Morbi vitae ante. Vivamus ultrices luctus nunc. Suspendisse et dolor. Etiam dignissim. Proin malesuada adipiscing lacus. Donec metus. Curabitur gravida

 

Dr. Claudia Capparelli, PhD

Affiliations: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Education: PhD, University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy – 2011

Focus & Impact:  Focus on the role of the SOX10 transcription factor with regard to tumor cell heterogeneity and plasticity across multiple genotypes in melanoma. Investigating how SOX10 plasticity/heterogeneity affects the response to MEKi and anti-ErbB3 combinations in WT BRAF melanoma patients. 

Publications: Publications Link

Honors & Awards:

  • Legacy of Hope Merit Award

  • Outrun the Sun Melanoma Research Scholar Award

  • Unical Fellowship Visiting Scholar

  • International Pigment Cell Conference Travel Award

  • Best Poster Presentation, Ninth Annual Jefferson Post-doctoral Research

  • INPDAP Fellowship for Student Merit 

  • University of Calabria Fellowships for Student Merit 

Dr. Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Affiliations: The Wistar Institute, The Chen Laboratory, University of Maryland

Education: PhD,Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo (Dean’s Award for outstanding dissertation) – 2006

Focus & Impact:  Focus is on the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis originating from primary tumors like breast cancer, and the interplay between cancer cells and the stromal cells that populate the brain microenvironment. 

Publications: Publications Link

Honors & Awards​:

  • Legacy of Hope Merit Award

  • Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy Award

  • Susan G. Komen, CCR Basic/Translational and Clinical application

  • The V Foundation for Cancer Research Award

  • Dissertation Research Award, Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 

Nia Andrews

Bio Coming Soon

Rebecca Blinn

Bio Coming Soon

Carol Sollenberger

Bio Coming Soon

Maree Lavo

Bio Coming Soon

Bryan Lathrop

Bio Coming Soon

Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

Michael Rowe

Awards:

Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014

Bio:

With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.