Marathoners run to support brother
Published: Monday, March 23, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Tim Padulsky ran the two-mile event in track at nearby Woburn High School. "I think in one of the races he was lapped by someone, but he didn't care. He just kept going and would always have a big smile on his face," said his sister Kristen, CSON '10. "All he wanted to do was finish." Tim's passion for running did not end when he got to Boston College. "He said one day that he had just run seven miles down Commonwealth Ave because he figured that he needed to if he was going to run a marathon someday," Kristen said. Despite the early start to his training, Tim was not able to finish the marathon during his time at BC. Just after the completion of his freshman year, Tim was diagnosed with leukemia. He passed away in September, cutting short his dreams of running in the marathon.
While the Padulsky family was deeply saddened at Tim's passing, it did not take long for his older sister Kristen to seize upon his dream of running the Boston marathon and decide to run it this year in his memory. "I had been in the hospital for the nine weeks when he passed away. I decided to just go outside and run, and it felt great," Kristen said. Stephen Padulsky, CSOM '12, quickly offered to join his older sister in her marathon training. "I pretty much just said, 'If you're going to run, then I will too,'" Stephen said.
Kristen and Stephen began training immediately last fall and said that they are now on pace to be ready for the April 20 marathon. The act was initially only going to be a carrying out of Tim's dreams, but it has since become a fundraiser for a fund established in his honor. "One day someone asked when they could give me money for the marathon, and I was surprised. I hadn't planned on running to raise money; I just wanted to do it for Tim," Kristen said. "When I saw that people were willing and ready to donate, I thought it would be a good opportunity for the fund."
The Timothy Padulsky Memorial Fund was created by Kristen only weeks after he passed away in September last year. "We started the fund to benefit patients and families who are at the floating hospital for children. Families like to be comfortable, and when one of their family members is in the hospital, that becomes their home for a while," Kristen said. "The fund is for little things that can help families be more comfortable. I know what it's like to be there because we were in that unique position for a long time."
The family held a raffle fundraiser in October to get the fund started, and the marathon is another big opportunity to raise money. The fund was also created to grant wishes to patients who do not qualify for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. "Tim was over 18 when he was diagnosed, so he wasn't eligible for a Make-a-Wish, but he wasn't really an adult yet, so we are hoping to give kids in a similar situation a wish," Kristen said.
Kristen and Stephen will not be the only ones running for Tim. Other members of the team include a nurse that cared for Tim in the hospital and one of his friends from Fairfield University. Members of the team will be wearing matching blue T-shirts with the slogan: "Tim's Team," which they are selling to others who will support them.
One week after the marathon, the Padulsky family will be supporting a bone marrow drive at BC to help promote more people to register to be donors. Tim received a bone marrow transplant from Kristen, which helped sustain his health during his battle with leukemia. She wants other leukemia patients to have the same opportunity Tim had to receive marrow from an eligible donor. Since it is so rare to find a match, she wants as many people as possible to register. Kristen hopes running the marathon will not only raise money for the fund but raise awareness for the bone marrow drive and get more people on the register.
Kristen Padulsky said that people who would like to donate to the fund can send donations to the Timothy Padulsky Memorial Fund at 11 Dickson Rd. Woburn, Mass. 01801.