Michael Rose, PharmD ‘15

Running to Make A Difference

April 10, 2015

  • The Boston Marathon is a treasured tradition in our city, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) students, faculty, and staff are proud to contribute to this prestigious event. From volunteering to running, our community has the privilege of being part of an event that brings people together.

    For one member of the MCPHS community, the Boston Marathon represents the culmination of both athletic goals and an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of those living with cancer. Michael Rose, PharmD ‘15 is running the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20, 2015 as part of the Miles for Miracles Team at Boston Children’s Hospital for the third time this year. Over the past three years, Michael has personally raised $20,000 for Children’s Hospital, and his team has raised nearly $5 million.

    We talked with Michael about what the Boston Marathon means to him, why he runs for the Miles for Miracles Team at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the very special people who inspire him to run harder and faster every day.

    What does running the Boston Marathon mean to you?

    To me, the Boston Marathon is more than just the most historic and prestigious marathon in the world. It is a celebration of the completion of a long and difficult journey that each one of the marathon’s 30,000 competitors has gone through. It is a personal test of motivation, perseverance, and human willpower.

    Tell us about your personal experience running the Marathon.

    Throughout each Boston Marathon that I have completed, I have gone through so many highs and lows, and I have discovered what truly motivates me to just take one more step and push one foot further until I have crossed that line. The Boston Marathon is completely different than any other marathon. There is just something about the course, the crowds, and the city that tests you every inch of the way but is so rewarding when you turn onto Boylston Street.

    It is definitely one of the traditions that make this city so special, and the feeling of camaraderie is very unique. How do you feel when you run?

    This city, and the world, truly gathers around the streets of Boston on Marathon Monday and embraces every single runner on course. From the second the gun goes off until the moment you cross the line, it is absolute excitement, inspiration, and happiness. It is a feeling that I seek from the second I finish until the start of training the next year.

    How long have you been training for this year’s marathon?

    This year I was coming off of a fall marathon in Chicago, so I decided to take a little bit of an extended 20 week “training camp” coming into this year’s Boston. I think it has helped to give my legs a bit more rest and ease myself back into training after a taxing year last year.

    Tell me about why you run for the Miles for Miracles Team at Boston Children’s Hospital.

    I run for Boston Children’s Hospital for three friends of mine. During my second year of college at MCPHS, a friend of mine named Luke was diagnosed with Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma at the age of 15. This is a very aggressive form of brain cancer with often times a very difficult prognosis. When he was diagnosed, his fight inspired the community that we lived in to really get behind him and help him in any way possible. It was this inspiration that enabled us to start the Luke Capistran Fund, LLC which culminated in a trans-America bike ride the summer after my sophomore year to raise money for Luke’s medical expenses.

    Luke was always the athlete in our hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. He was an all-star baseball player and an incredible hockey player. He always had this great smile on him and would go out of his way to make anyone he saw, whether he knew them or not, laugh and smile. Luke continued to be the source of my personal inspiration throughout his illness; however, that following fall he lost his battle against cancer.

    Through that original cross-country ride, I was fortunate enough to meet a beautiful and loving young girl by the name of Kasey who was also fighting Anaplastic Astrocytoma. I became very close with her after Luke’s passing, spending a large amount of time at Children’s with her throughout treatments. She became a part of my family and a great friend of mine. We would spend hours laughing, exploring the Children’s Hospital gift shop, and competing in the board game “Trouble,” which I always lost. Children’s Hospital treated both Luke and Kasey with the most amazing care. They put on events for them, took Kasey to Florida for spring training, and just made her feel like the princess that she was. The following summer, however, Kasey also lost her long battle against cancer.

    The legacies of Luke and Kasey have clearly inspired you.

    It was in their memory that I decided to switch from endurance cycling to marathon running for Children’s Hospital. But what I did not know was that I would gain another source of inspiration through the “Patient Partner” program. This is a program that links runners with patients of Children’s Hospital, much like the Big Brother Big Sister program. And that is when I met my “little man” Drystan. He turned ten last month!

    Tell us more about Drystan.

    Drystan is the most inspiring young man you will ever meet. He suffers from seizures, but that does not stop him in his pursuit to live an incredible life. He is a four-time state champ powerhouse of a wrestler who wins every single tournament he enters. However, his main purpose for anything that he does in life, as he says, is “to help the other sick children.”

    He has been fundraising for Boston Children’s Hospital for four years now. At every tournament, he raises money with each victory he achieves. Every birthday since he was five, he has asked not for presents, but instead for donations to Children’s Hospital.

    Drystan is truly is the reason that I am able to lace up my shoes every morning and log the miles throughout these horrendous winters. I know that at mile 13 when I come around the corner in Wellesley, he will be there to give me a high five. He is more than a brother to me and he is every reason I need to take one more step until I hit the line in Copley.

    Describe what Boston Children’s Hospital has done for you and your friends.

    Children’s is the world’s top pediatric hospital. It is a source of miracles for so many children, and also a source of safety and happiness. Every time that I visited my friends at Children’s, no matter how sick they were, they were smiling. They were treated like royalty by the entire staff, and constantly were a part of events to just get their minds off of treatment. Through fundraising, I have also met a lot of people who will support me with donations and also share their stories of Children’s. I have learned of how this hospital has saved their child’s life, their friend’s lives, and sometimes even their own lives.

    Everyone seems to have a story of how Children’s Hospital has touched them. These stories are like liquid energy for those of us on the Miles for Miracles Team. Every week we share a dedication before we head out for a run as a team and it’s these dedications that carry us to the finish line.