SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 11, 2011

A HISTORIC MARATHON

Swampscott's Santanello will run Boston as first patient for Mass. General leukemia team

(Continued)

Like her father, Kristin has become an active fundraiser for the cause. She has more than $13,000 in pledges so far and is looking to push that total to $50,000 within a couple of months.

"I'm doing it for all the other kids who have (acute lymphoblastic leukemia)," said Santanello. "I know how most of them feel. It can be tough and depressing, but I want them to know it's not a death sentence. It's how you come out of it and who you become that's important."

Running the Boston Marathon is just one part of Santanello's ambitious plan when it comes to dealing with ALL. She is majoring in biomedical science at Salem State and her ultimate goal is to help eradicate this type of cancer, which affects mostly children.

"I've never run 26 miles, but I know I'll finish the Boston Marathon because it's my dream," said Santanello. "I don't care what my time is. Just the fact that I get to participate with my team and be a leader for the kids is a big thing.

"The cure rate for kids (with ALL) was 90 percent when I had it and now it's even higher. I'm going to go into that field when I'm finished school because I want to see every kid cured."

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Cancer survivor Kristin Santanello of Swampscott will run her first Boston Marathon next Monday for children who have Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. If you want to help with a donation, you can go to the following site: https://give.massgeneral.org/k_santanello

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