Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 7, 2013

Town Talk


The Andover Townsman

---- — Andover runner tackles NYC Marathon

While many residents were still saluting the World Series-winning Red Sox last weekend, there was a marathon happening in New York City with a little taste of Andover. Jennifer McDonald, who grew up in town and graduated from Andover High School in 2006 before going on to Boston University, ran the ING New York City Marathon on behalf of Boston Children’s Hospital on Sunday, Nov. 3.

McDonald, who now lives in New York City and works at AMC Entertainment, says the cause “is very near and dear to the hearts of those born and raised in and around Boston.”

“BCH is currently the No. 1 pediatric hospital in the world, housing over 8,000 kids yearly who are struggling to reach their next birthday. I feel especially fortunate to be able to represent my home cities, both past and present, after the senseless act of violence that occurred earlier this year,” McDonald wrote on her Facebook fundraising page.

McDonald, the daughter of John and Lisa McDonald of Durham Drive, raised $3,000 for BCH. She ran the 26.2 miles in a very respectable time of four hours and 14 minutes. The New York City Marathon followed her outing last year in the Boston Marathon on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for which she raised $5,000.

“They are both such amazing causes so I’m very happy,” McDonald wrote in an email.

— Judy Wakefield

Speaking out on caregiving crisis

The issue of caregiving stress as a national crisis is a personal one for Emily Kearns of Andover as she cared for both of her parents, who lived for more than a decade with dementia.

Recently, Kearns has been working with the Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition to help secure resources to support caregivers.

Kearns spoke at the national conference sponsored by the coalition at Boston Park Plaza Hotel. She gave a presentation titled “Respite Reframed.”

“We need their help in raising awareness about the issue — boomers are sandwiched between caring for aging parents who are living longer with chronic conditions and raising their children and parents of special-needs children are stressed as they try to juggle work and caregiving,” Kearns wrote in an email.

Here is a link to the full conference program: www.arch.memberlodge.org/Program#PPTs.

— Judy Wakefield

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Do you have an item for Town Talk? Email Judy Wakefield at jwakefield@andovertownsman.com or townsman@andovertownsman.com.